flash flooding

Flash Flooding Overwhelms Highways and Businesses in Northeast DC, Prince George's County

People were rescued from cars stuck in floodwaters after as much as 4.2 inches of rain fell in some neighborhoods over the course of an hour-and-a-half

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Floodwaters overtook highways, city streets and Metro stations across Washington, D.C., and Prince George's County, Maryland, on Wednesday afternoon as storms dumped more than 4 inches of rain on parts of the region in less than two hours.

The flash flooding caught drivers off guard on the Capital Beltway causing some cars to stall. Maryland State Police officials said multiple overwhelmed storm drains led to flooding on the Outer Loop near the Good Luck Road overpass.

At least two cars in two separate areas less than a half-mile apart stalled out in flash flooding. Everyone was able to get out of those cars without assistance, and no injuries were reported. Other drivers had to be rescued from vehicles by firefighters using inflatable boats.

Flooding also shut down the southbound lanes of the Third Street Tunnel in D.C. Police said the New York Avenue NW and Massachusetts Avenue NW tunnel exits were closed due to high standing water. They diverted traffic to Fourth Street and New York Avenue NW, and asked drivers to use alternate routes.

In Northeast D.C., brown floodwaters rose around Rhode Island Avenue. Video from District Dogs, a dog day care, showed several feet of water covering the front door and windows. Water could be seen seeping through the walls and bubbling up from drains in the floor. The store's staff used sandbags to help keep the worst of the flooding from entering the business.

Parts of Rhode Island Avenue were flooded for the third time. News4's Jackie Bensen reports on the aftermath.

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This isn't the first time flooding has inundated District Dogs. On Friday, a flash flood caused water to pour into the boarding house and pet spa. Some 40 dogs were inside at the time of the flooding. Luckily, the pets and staff were left unharmed.

Meanwhile, storm drains overwhelmed by the heavy rains gushed like a geyser at the intersection of 19th and D streets NE. District police were stationed at the corner, but drivers continued to pass through the fast-moving water.

DC Water said it’s working on a long-term fix for flooding in some neighborhoods in Northeast. It said the goal is to expand the capacity of the sewer system, which isn’t equipped to handle the population growth of the past 100 years.

Construction is underway on the Northeast Boundary Tunnel (NEBT) to address “chronic flooding in the Bloomingdale and LeDroit Park neighborhoods, at the Rhode Island Metro station area, and on Mount Olivet Road NE,” DC Water says. Officials said that could reduce the chance of flooding in those areas from 50% to 7%. The project isn’t expected to be complete until 2023.

Remember: If you're driving and you see standing water, turn around and don't drown.

Ankle-deep water covered the entrance to the Greenbelt Metro station and water poured through the ceiling of the Capitol South station as the storms roared outside.

As much as 4.2 inches of rain poured from the skies Wednesday across Prince George's County. Drivers on the Beltway near Route 301 contended with 3.1 inches of rain, while in Northeast D.C., 2.5 inches fell near Minnesota Avenue. The National Weather Service issued a Flash Flood Warning for the District and multiple counties in Maryland and Virginia until the 8 o'clock hour. A flood warning went into effect at 2 p.m.

Stay with Storm Team4 and NBC Washington on this developing story.

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