Floods Trap Drivers on GW Parkway as Record-Breaking Rain Sweeps Through DC Area

Firefighters used boats to rescue 40 people from their cars on GW Parkway

Record-setting rainfall drenched the D.C. area Tuesday afternoon, causing flash floods that trapped people driving along the George Washington Parkway.

In about one hour, 2.6 inches of rain fell around the Beltway, breaking the 1945 record of 2.05 inches. The storm also cut power and flooded roads.

George Washington Parkway flooded near Reagan airport, and people were pulled from their car by rescuers. Video from the Arlington County fire department shows water that goes up to the windows of some cars. About 25 cars were stuck, and 40 people were rescued, firefighters said.

About a dozen firefighters responded. The firefighters dragged inflatable boats to the flooded cars while using a paddle to check the murky water wasn't hiding dangers, Joe Tamerantz, an Arlington County firefighter, said.

No injuries were reported. 

The Parkway reopened but was plagued by traffic problems for hours after.

Uber drivers were among those 

Water poured into the Capital South Metro station. Video shows flooding from the ceiling, near an escalator, as a train operates nearby.

Ahead of Tuesday evening's All-Star Game, heavy rain was flooding the dugouts at Nationals Park at a rate of one inch per half-hour, Ricketts said.

Storm Team4 said the rain should move out of the area by the start of the game.


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A severe thunderstorm was over National Harbor about 3:40 p.m., moving east at 30 mph, the National Weather Service said. Wind could knock down some trees and large branches, and localized power outages are possible, the NWS warned. 

A lot of lightning is associated with the storm, and the heavy rain is creating low visibility and ponding on roads, said Storm Team4 meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts.

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