By the Capital Weather Gang’s count, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport picked up .69 inches of rain in an 11-minute span. In an hour, a total of 3.3 inches of rain fell at DCA - a new record in the agency’s books.
According to the National Weather Service's Andrew Snyder, Monday's heavy downpour marked the heaviest July 8 rainfall for 148 years.
Within a matter of moments, the rain led to headache-inducing traffic, before completely shutting down traffic lanes in various areas with high water levels.
— Wendy Marco (@WendyMarco924) July 8, 2019
— Laurel (@laurelo14) July 8, 2019
— DC Fire and EMS (@dcfireems) July 8, 2019
— Dave Dildine (@DildineWTOP) July 8, 2019
Video shared on social media by residents also document flooded parking garages and even impromptu waterfalls inside the US capital’s Metro transit system. No one was truly safe from the water while commuting, as even the Metro elevators were spotted with water pouring down from their ceilings.
— Nick Scalera (@nickscalera) July 8, 2019
— Laura (@asdfghjklaura3) July 8, 2019
— Lauren Boyer (@laurenboyer) July 8, 2019
— Dr. Rocío Caballero-Gill (@CaballeroGill) July 8, 2019
Early on in the torrential downpour, the National Weather Service issued an all-caps alert, saying, “Immediate action is required to save your life!”
In some areas, emergency responders were called out to conduct rescues. One video posted online shows a man sporting a Peru national soccer jersey carrying two children to safety after pulling them from a stranded car. Although a little shaken, video shows the trio weren’t harmed during the dramatic incident.
— Molette Green (@MoletteGreen) July 8, 2019
— Sam Sweeney (@SweeneyABC) July 8, 2019
— Brian Radzinsky (@b_radzinsky) July 8, 2019
According to the DC Fire Department, 15 people were rescued from cars. Elsewhere in Arlington County, 38 were rescued from vehicles, and another 27 locals were safely removed from their homes, local news station WTOP reported.
— Brendan (@BrendanLilly) July 8, 2019
— Colin Storm (@ColinStorm) July 8, 2019
— Andrea L (@lazolov3) July 8, 2019
— Fairfax Fire/Rescue (@ffxfirerescue) July 8, 2019
Roughly two dozen people were pulled to safety from their vehicles in Maryland’s Montgomery County.
— Scott Taylor ABC 7 (@ScottTaylorTV) July 8, 2019
— Adam Longo (@adamlongoTV) July 8, 2019
Over yonder in Maryland’s Frederick County, Baker Park was yet again flooded.
— Steve Bohnel (@Steve_Bohnel) July 8, 2019
— Matt St P (@MattStP2) July 8, 2019
— KCheckeye (@LDoctorKC) July 8, 2019
Meteorologist Chris Lego noted in a Twitter thread that “10 cms/km [of rain] is [cause for] significant flash flooding,” and that according to his review of data for the nation’s capital, “Not only are there large areas of > 10 cms/km, but this event goes off the scale at over twice that value.”
— Hope Hodge Seck (@HopeSeck) July 8, 2019
— Jacob Fischler (@ItsFischy) July 8, 2019
— Nancy Chen (@NancyChenNews) July 8, 2019
Not even the White House was safe. Photos shared by reporters show that the basement began to flood before officials acted quickly in an effort to stave off water damages.
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) July 8, 2019
The US National Archives Building, which houses the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights, was also hit hard after the troublesome weather caused electrical outages.
— US National Archives (@USNatArchives) July 8, 2019
The National Weather Service has indicated that DC and surrounding areas in nearby Maryland and Virginia will remain under a flood warning. The agency notes that hazardous weather conditions, which include scattered severe thunderstorms, are expected to unfold.