Heavy Rains Make Beltway Traffic Worse
I’m about to head out into this:
A summer-like storm smacked the Washington region early this morning, bringing pounding rain, overflowing creeks and storm drains, lousy visibility, slick roads, dangerously unpredictable pools of standing water on highways, wind gusts and, on top of it all, literally, areas of possible “rotation” high in the sky, meaning a tornado watch. Anyplace where driving is challenging when it rains hard was, indeed, challenging and was expected to remain that way through the morning rush hour, according to the National Weather Service.
At least 40 weather-related incidents and accidents were reported by authorities by 6:00 a.m.
“It’s not quite a snow day but it’s extremely treacherous out here,” Sgt. Rob Moroney of the Maryland State Police said in a radio interview. “We have so many roads affected I apologize if I haven’t mentioned yours,” said Lisa Baden, traffic reporter on WTOP radio. “People are hydroplaning. People are driving way too fast.”
The Weather Service warned that “area creeks and streams will be swollen” and overflowing. “If you encounter water covering the roadway during your morning drive,” a service statement said, “turn around and find an alternate route. The water may be too deep to cross safely.”
There are flood warnings in every county from start to finish, so this should be fun. Blogging to commence around noon.
Update (0745): I made it. It actually wasn’t particularly bad out there on the roads I take. I forget how freaked out people around here get by what, to my experience, is fairly light rain. It must be similar to what people from Minnesota or North Dakota feel when they come south of the Mason-Dixon line and see people panic over half and inch of snow.