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Sunshine breaks through after tropical deluge

Saturday - 9/10/2011, 8:34am  ET

falls church water rushing flood (WTOP Photo/Hillary Howard)
Rain waters rush down a street in Falls Church,Va. on Sept. 8, 2011. (WTOP Photo/Hillary Howard)
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Prince George's Co. recovers

WTOP's Kate Ryan reports.


Huntington residents rescued by boat

WTOP's Kristi King reports.


Problems on Route 4 in Md.

WTOP's Michelle Basch reports.


WASHINGTON - After five days of clouds and rain, the D.C. region is finally getting some sunshine. Just how much rain did we get over these last few days?

ABC 7 Meteorologist Alex Liggitt says some areas, like Fairfax County, saw about 15 inches. Herndon got over 12 inches.

It all came from an unusual mix of Tropical Storm Lee coming up from the Gulf of Mexico, more clouds moving in from the ocean and a weather front backing it all up.

"It just trained over the same exact area over and over and over again," Leggit says. "It's just something you won't see in an extremely long time."

The National Weather Service predicts the oppressive rain only happens every few hundred years.

Localities across the D.C. region are assessing the damage after remnants of Tropical Storm Lee flooded roads, causing the evacuation of homes and schools and claiming lives.

The small river town of Port Deposit, one of the worst hit, was nearly deserted on Friday after the storm knocked out power and water. Few residents stayed behind, and police upped street patrols to prevent looting.

In Huntington, a Fairfax County community known to flood, some homes will have to be inspected before families who evacuated Thursday night are allowed to return.

Cameron Run overflowed its banks, forcing between 150 and 200 people to leave their homes on Fenwick Drive, Arlington Terrace, Mount Vernon Drive and Liberty Drive. Cameron Run's waters flooded the Capital Beltway and shut it down for nearly six hours. It reopened around 1 a.m. Friday.

The flood waters were 6 to 7 feet deep in Huntington. Deputy Fire Chief James Walsh says Fairfax County firefighters used inflatable boats to rescue some of the families.

For a look at some of the damage in Alexandria, click here.


ABC 7's Doug Hill says the last batch of "measurable rainfall from our weeklong monsoon" has now mostly moved into Pennsylvania, so the worst is over.

Saturday will be partly cloudy with highs in the 80s. There is a 10 to 20 percent chance of isolated showers.

For the complete forecast, click here.

Rain totals

Here are some of the areas that received the most rain this week, according to Weather Bug:

  • Reston, Va. - 10.69 inches
  • Potomac, Md. - 9.77 inches
  • Clarksburg, Md. - 10.09 inches
  • Annandale, Va. - 9.66 inches

For the latest traffic incidents, visit the WTOP Traffic page or follow @WTOPTraffic on Twitter for up-to-the-minute information.

Both the Maryland Department of Transportation and the Virginia Department of Transportation have a list of continuously updated closures.

Flood deaths

Four people are confirmed dead from weather related incidents, three of them in Fairfax County.

Galo Sebastian Salvador-Vinueza, a 25-year-old Lorton man, was found Friday morning at Davison Airfield in Fort Belvoir. He was reported missing Thursday night after his wife found his car abandoned on the 8800 block of Telegraph Road, near Accotink Creek Bridge.

Fairfax County Officer Tawny Wright says it appeared Vinueza tried to walk across the flooded bridge on foot and was swept away by the current.

Also in Fairfax County, Jake Donaldson, 12, died after being swept away in the Piney Branch Creek in Vienna. Flood waters in his backyard in the 9700 block of Marcliff Court swept him away around 6 p.m. Thursday. Police and fire personnel responded during a torrential downpour and found his body two hours later in Piney Branch Creek at Lawyers Road.

In another Fairfax County incident around 7 p.m. Thursday, Arsalan Hakiri, 67, died as his Toyota Yaris was swept downstream in rising waters near Beech Mill Road at Club View Drive. Hakiri apparently tried to get out of his car and was swept into a creek and drowned near Carrwood Drive, police say.

In Anne Arundel County, police say a Pasadena man is presumed to have drowned after he was pulled from high water behind his home Wednesday night.

Prince William County evacuations and boil water advisory

Residents who live near Marumsco Creek along Route 1 in Prince William County had to be evacuated as the creek rose rapidly. The creek rose 15 feet above the road, flooding mobile homes in Holly Acres and Marumsco Mobile Home Park.

Some units of an apartment community on Breezy Ridge Way also had to be evacuated when a retaining wall collapsed.

A boil water advisory was issued by the Prince William Service Authority for customers located in the Woodbridge area bound by Interstate 95 and Route 1, south of Occoquan Road and North of Prince William County Parkway. The area includes Marumsco Village, Millwood Estates, Maben Woods and Ashford.

Prince William County fire and rescue workers say they responded to 24 swift water rescue calls and 40 flood related hazard calls.

Charles County state of emergency and boil water advisory

Charles County declared a state of emergency that will be in effect for seven days. The state of emergency lets the county deploy and coordinate resources to protect people's lives and property.

Charles County set up a temporary shelter with restroom facilities at the Charles County Department of Community Services building in Port Tobacco at 8190 Port Tobacco Rd. Pets -- dogs and cats -- are welcome.

The county set up a a non-emergency telephone number, 301-609-3435, for calls related to the weather.

The Charles County Department of Public Works and the Maryland Department of the Environment announced precautionary boil water advisory to customers of the Clifton on the Potomac water system. Once water service is restored, some residents may experience water discoloration.

Avoid the Potomac River because of raw sewage

People are warned to stay away from the Potomac River, particularly near the rocks at Great Falls and the Chain Bridge.

Heavy rains have resulted in the D.C. sewer system overflowing into local waterways including the Potomac. D.C. Water engineers estimate about 250 million gallons of sewer overflow, including raw sewage, have been released into local waterways this week.

Due to these hazardous swim conditions, organizers of the 2011 Nation's Triathlon have canceled the swim portion of Sunday's event. There will be a 40K bike and 10K run only.

The National Park Service warns hikers to avoid the C&O Canal for the next few days. Campgrounds along the tow path, the overlook on the Maryland side of Great Falls and the Billy Goat Trail have all been closed.

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