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Flash Flood Emergency Hits DC Area; Prompting Water Rescues

There were reports of up to four inches of rain dropping in some areas in as little as an hour.

A flash flood emergency was issued for Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia after heavy rains flooded numerous roads Monday morning.

The District of Columbia Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency advised drivers to stay off the roads.

"Do NOT go through flooded roads/sidewalks," the agency said in a tweet. "It’s difficult to know depth of water or what may be underneath — like downed, live wires. TURN AROUND, DON’T DROWN!"

D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services said it had removedseveral occupants to safety from vehicles stranded in high water.

In Virginia, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department said it had responded to more than 30 calls for "swift water rescues" by about 9:30 a.m.

Flooding in the basement of the White House briefing room on July 8, 2019.

The National Weather Service issued flash flood warnings for Washington, as well as parts of Maryland and Virginia. The NWS said travel in areas affected by flash flood emergencies will be "extraordinarily dangerous" and could include washouts.

"Stay out of low areas, if in a low area that may flood, seek higher ground," the NWS said. "Stay off the roads if at all possible. This is not the 'usual' flooding."

The heavy rain also caused flooding in the basement of the White House, though it was contained in about an hour.

The weather led to service disruptions on commuter trains.

Amtrak said trains traveling south of Washington were stopped due to the severe weather conditions.


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