Storms Cause Flooding, Outages in D.C. Area

It was a soggy Friday afternoon and evening for much of the D.C. region, but by 6:30 p.m., rain was moving out of most of the region.

But there is a chance for more shower activity later tonight, NBC Washington Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer reported.

A National Weather Service severe thunderstorm watch for most of the D.C. area expired at 9 p.m. Several flash flood and severe thunderstorm warnings were issued throughout the afternoon and evening as storms moved through the area.

Major flooding was reported in Frederick late Friday afternoon, and several roads were closed.

“I’d say in the midst of about 30 minutes, streets began to flood,” Frederick Police Chief Kim Dine said.

Frederick was among the areas that got more than 3 inches of rain Friday afternoon and evening, Kammerer said.

A car stuck in flooding in downtown Frederick, Md., Friday.

(Image from Tom Tamse)

Frederick police Lt. Clark Pennington said police have assisted people move their vehicles stranded in high water, but no one has been in any danger.

By 4:15 p.m., an inch-and-a-half of rain had fallen over the Interstate 270 spur and Democracy in Montgomery County.

At Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport there were delays of at least an hour and increasing Friday evening. Delays of at least a half hour were reported at Ronald Reagan National Airport. And delays of at least an hour and 45 minutes were reported at Dulles International Airport, according to the FAA. Dulles and Reagan also had ground stops for arriving flights.

Pepco called in extra crews and personnel ahead of the storms and is restoring outages as they happen.

“Today’s severe weather and rush hour traffic has made our restoration effort a challenge,” Pepco President Thomas Graham said. “Our restoration effort is well under way.”

At about 6:30 p.m., Pepco was reporting 8,529 customers without power. Dominion Virginia reported 1,428 outages. SMECO reported 683, NOVEC reported 235 and BGE reported 3,210.

A stationary front stalled over the region into tonight triggered heavy storms in the area.

This led the National Weather Service to issue a flash flood watch for most of the D.C. region for Friday afternoon and evening. Residents were warned of the likelihood of localized flooding from creeks and streams overflowing their banks, and perhaps overflowing roadways, as well.

(Image from Tom Tamse)

Further west, another area of rain started to move southeast Friday evening but could still bring more rain to southern Maryland and lower areas of northern Virginia, Kammerer said.

Remember to stay away from high water. As the old saying goes, "turn around, don't drown." There were several high-water rescues Thursday night in the Baltimore area. It only takes a foot of water for a car to float away, so avoid areas of high water whenever possible. This is especially a problem at night if drivers can't see how deep the water is.

With all of that said, it looks like a great summer weekend coming up. Any storms and rain should be ending just before dawn on Saturday, Kierein said. The rest of the day will be a bit less humid with sunshine returning and highs approaching 90 degrees.

Sunday looks like it will not be very humid with sunshine and highs in the low 90s.

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