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Posted at 2:25 PM ET, 09/ 6/2008

Hanna Deals a Saturday Soaker; End in Sight

By Dan Stillman

Numerous road closures; Never cross a flooded road

*Tropical Storm Warning near and east of I-95.*
*Wind Advisory for north and west suburbs until 11 p.m.*
*Flash Flood Watch for metro area through this evening*
*Flash Flood Warning for D.C., Montgomery, Frederick, Loudoun, Fairfax, Prince William and Stafford Counties*

Hanna Live Updates Blog (up to the minute) | Track Hanna | Satellite image | Dominion Power Outages | Pepco Power Outages | BGE Power Outages | Rainfall reports from NWS | Doppler Estimated Rainfall

At 2 p.m., the center of Hanna was just northeast of Williamsburg, Va., and moving northeast near 25 mph. We still expect the rain to come to an end in the metro area, from west to east, between 4 and 7 p.m.

The heaviest rains continue to fall west of I-95, where flash flood warnings (shown on map below, linked to above) reamain in effect. Numerous road closures have been reported, especially in Stafford and Culpeper counties, but also closer to the Beltway such as at Beach Drive and Sligo Creek Pkwy in Silver Spring, Georgetown Pike at Old Dominion Dr in Great Falls, Va., and Rock Creek Pkwy in the District. It's a good idea to stay off the roads if you can for the next couple hours at least. Rainfall totals have generally been 2-5", with some locations recording as much as 6-7" and isolated reports of 10".

The strongest winds have been near and east of the Bay, with sustained speeds reaching near 30 mph and gusts to near 50 mph. In the metro area, maximum sustained winds have been more like 20-25 mph with gusts to near 35 mph. That's helped keep power outages from getting out of control. Still, Pepco and Dominion Power are currently reporting a combined total of about 11,000 outages in the metro area.

Here are some of the impressive rain totals thus far (courtesy Weatherbug). The bull's-eye seems to be between I-95 and Rt. 29 in Virginia:

Manassas: 7.5-8.7"
Oakton: 7.38"
Dale City: 6.08"
Woodbridge: 5.71"
Fairfax: 5.44"
Mclean: 5.76"
Annandale: 4.93"
Springfield: 4.74"

Here are some additional totals:

From Md.

Frederick: 2.5-4"
Potomac: 5.64"
Silver Spring: 3.84"
Bethesda: 3.31"
Rockville: 3-4.5"
Ft. Washington, MD: 2.57"
Greenbelt: 1.5"
Potomac: 5.52"

In the District totals have generally ranged from 2-4" or so.

By Dan Stillman  | September 6, 2008; 2:25 PM ET
Categories:  Forecasts, Tropical Weather  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Massive Deluge Across Metro Area
Next: Rain to Exit Stage Right; Winds Hang On


2.99" so far here, Fri./today...

Posted by: steve takoma park md | September 6, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

My weatherbug station near here (Floris ES) Has 4.5 inches of rain so far, more than i expected to fall today.

Posted by: Herndon,VA | September 6, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Tons of rain here in Arlington (don't know the exact amount), but surprisingly little wind. I've been watching the trees, and I haven't seen much movement at all.

Posted by: dinergirl | September 6, 2008 2:40 PM | Report abuse

First, let me say I have respect for those who have to make cancellation decisions for events. It is usually a no-win situation with complaints from people no matter which way you go. That being said, it does seem to me that those in Montgomery County Dept of Rec and in the school system need to better understand that this kind of weather system is MUCH more predictable and MUCH better modeled than most weather events - that is what 100% means !

The Dept of Rec waited until 7:15 this morning to decide to cancel things - and on the opposite MCPS canceled a football game ( on artifical turf) for tonight and I am sure that by this evening all or most of the rain will be well away.

Posted by: MDScot | September 6, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Rain has really quieted down here for the moment.

My husband is trying to convince me that now is a good time to cross the bridge into VA and go to a party that we are still planning on attending.

I'm trying to convince my husband that we should just wait a couple of hours.

Of course...he also told me that I didn't need to go buy water and batteries this week, which I did, and I sure haven't needed them.

How are things in NOVA right now? That might help me decide.

Posted by: Laura in NWDC | September 6, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Same with me, dinergirl.

NoVa's lights continue to go out... nearly 10,000 Dominion customers in Northern Virginia have lost power in the last 20 minutes, bringing the total to somewhere near 15K without electricity. (Still only 3 in 200 w/o power, but that number should increase soon.)

Posted by: mcleaNed | September 6, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

We have received about 4.5" so far. A look at the radar says things will be improving soon!

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | September 6, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

yep here in Clarendon the rain has been steady for the last hour

Posted by: jeffc | September 6, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

I posted this in the old post just a few seconds after this one was posted, so just in case you didn't see it (updated rain total)

mcleaNed: I'm in Lake Ridge, and my weather station measures indoor humidity, temperature and pressure. The outdoor sensor is on our patio, hanging next to the closet door.

Here's proof so you don't think I'm lying :P

BTW: Rain is up to 7.63" now. Channel 7 is reporting that Herbert Saunders MS in Manassas has received 10.61" of rain. WOW!

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 6, 2008 2:48 PM

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 6, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

@Laura in NWDC: I'm in Merrifield near Rts 495 & 50 in NoVA. We've had steady torrential rains and high winds here for the past few hours. I haven't really been able to distinguish bands moving through. Parts of Rt 50 are reported to have standing surface water. I'm not so sure I'd drive over here.

Posted by: ~sg | September 6, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

In Silver Spring I am still waiting for this "storm". Just a rainy day, nothing more. What a bunch of hype...

Posted by: Chris | September 6, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Steady hard rain in Falls Church and now the wind is beginning to pickup. Just spent about 2 hours outside trying to unclog a gutter that was causing water to flow into our basement. Seem to have stanched the flow for now. A bucket placed outside last night has about 4 inches of water in it.

Posted by: Soggy | September 6, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Power is out at my location.

Posted by: David A. in Stafford | September 6, 2008 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I'm in Silver Spring too. Mostly it has been just another rainy day. However, in the last half hour the wind has picked up.

Posted by: ep | September 6, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

When posting power outage links, you guys ALWAYS forget BGE! The news stations always forget it too...

Posted by: jtf | September 6, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

In Falls Church I don't have a rain gauge but the elementary school 1/4 mile away has almost 5" on Weatherbug. Basement hasn't flooded like in the past, thanks to several thousand dollars of waterproofing needed after this spring. It did come in one basement window well. Got it under control I think. Hope the power stays on...

Posted by: W in FC | September 6, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Weatherdude: I have almost the same weather station as you do!

Uh oh... rain AND wind are beginning to pick up here. As they say in 80's video games... C-C-C-COMBO!

Posted by: mcleaNed | September 6, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and we've also been dry-slotted in eastern PG county for a few hours now. Only ~1.5 inches today. Not much wind either.

Posted by: jtf | September 6, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Continuing bursts of heavy rain with gusty winds here in Centreville VA, but the sky to the west has gotten brighter. The cloud ceiling has risen a lot as as I can now see planes on their final approaches into Dulles airport. An hour ago that was impossible.
At least 6 inches of rain here, perhaps as much as 8.

Posted by: Centreville VA | September 6, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

The thought occurred to me that, if the rainfall totals we're seeing were all of snow (e.g. 2-4 inches in DC, 7+ inches west), this would be a pretty big winter storm for our area. Shows you just how impressive Tropical Storm Hanna has been.

Posted by: mcleaNed | September 6, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Wind gusts have been up there in the past hour. I'd say 35-40 MPH, enough to make the big trees sway. Here in extreme northeastern Loudoun we've gotten 5.5-6 inches of rain.

Posted by: Sterling | September 6, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I suppose 5 inches of rain might equate to anything from 15 to 50 inches of snow... depending on the dryness.

Of course, considering how tropical this type of system is, we might've been facing a severe ice storm if it were winter.

Apparently we're hungry for a snowstorm in this city.

Posted by: jtf | September 6, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

As of 3:10, we've had 7.7" in Fairfax City. The sky is definitely getting lighter, but the rain is still coming down hard. My sump pump is running pretty much constantly!

Posted by: JB in Fairfax | September 6, 2008 3:20 PM | Report abuse

More windy in Clarendon, light rain, and a bit of a drop in temperature

Posted by: jeffc | September 6, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Sky is getting lighter, rain is still coming down, and the wind is starting to pick up again (but nothing like that gust we had around 10-11am).

Posted by: alexandria | September 6, 2008 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Here in Hyattsville at 3:30. So far it's been an average rainy day. Looks like a huge range of variation across the region.

Posted by: tk | September 6, 2008 3:34 PM | Report abuse

"Still, Pepco and Dominion Power are currently reporting a combined total of about 11,000 outages in the metro area."

That number needs to be updated. Dominion Power alone is reporting 20K+ outages in NoVa.

Posted by: mcleaNed | September 6, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Chris, what part of Silver Spring do you live in? Would you like to remulch under the place where my gutter overflowed?

Laura, two Sooty Terns (tropical seabirds) reported heading down river from Hanes Point...probably one have would needed a scope to see them.

The gate to Hanes Point is closed.

Rain coming down heavily again in my part of Silver Spring. Two hours ago Sligo Creek was roaring steadily along but was still in its banks, near Wayne Avenue.

Posted by: Storm-petrel | September 6, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

We're getting a couple of good gusts in Dupont, but its only affecting the trees unshielded by buildings. Those by the brownstones are hardly twitching. The rain is coming sideways, but it's very light. People are still sauntering up and down the streets and I haven't seen an umbrella invert yet! Just another rainy day downtown. :)

Posted by: Mlle. Dupont | September 6, 2008 3:52 PM | Report abuse

In case you're considering driving on the Beltway in VA:

Posted at 3:39 PM ET, 09/ 6/2008
Monitoring the Beltway
From reporter Nick Miroff:

VDOT spokesperson Joan Morris said crews were closely monitoring the Beltway at Cameron Run. "Water at Cameron Run is usually 7 to 8 feet below the roadway; right now its 3.5 feet. If it gets to 2 feet, we'll close the Beltway in both directions," she said.

Posted by: alexandria | September 6, 2008 3:53 PM | Report abuse

And the streets are pretty clear, too. Looks like the sewers are doing their job.

Posted by: Mlle. Dupont | September 6, 2008 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Hoo-boy -- looks like Hanna is slapping away at us as she picks up her skirt and dashes off to the NE! Winds have been less than 20 mph most of the day, but have picked up dramatically here in Hayfield/Kingstowne area of SE Fairfax County in the last 20 minutes (I'd guess 25-30 mph sustained, with higher gusts around 40-45 every few minutes). Rain is lighter but still coming down steady. Looks like the radar might clear out within the next 1-2 hours?

Posted by: VAStateOfMind | September 6, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

3:53 PM - Weatherbug reports 8.36" of rain at Old Bridge Elementary School. My weatherbug now shifted the station from OBES to Kilby School. Darnit, I hate when Weatherbug does that! At least a got a screenshot of it.

Pressure is up to 990hPa here now.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 6, 2008 3:58 PM | Report abuse

1.97" of rain so far here in Arnold. Wind looks to have picked up a little after we had a lull in both wind and rain after about noon. Rain really hasn't been to heavy here though, nothing close to what has been occurring farther west. Looking at the radar it does appear as though we will get some moderate rain within the next few hours as the storm pulls out of the area.

Posted by: arnoldkh | September 6, 2008 4:00 PM | Report abuse


I am not too far down stream on Sligo from Wayne. Yes the water is up, but I have a good view and I have seen it higher earlier in the summer after some t-storms. I cleaned my gutters 2 weeks ago so my mulch is fine. Sorry about yours, but I am done with the mulching for a few weeks.

As usual, the weather in this area is a crap shoot.

Posted by: Chris | September 6, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

ABC 7 said something along the lines of Wakefield HS in South Arlington having under 2 inches of rain. This is impossible. Perhaps the gauges are wrong... I cannot see how any area along the I-95 corridor could not have gotten at least 3.5+ inches.

Posted by: Period | September 6, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Little Falls Pkwy near Bethesda Pool is closed.

Posted by: dave | September 6, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

We were braced for the worst in our rowhouse on the eastern side of Capitol Hill. In the past, we've had a lot of trouble with a drain outside our basement door getting overwhelmed in torrential rains and backing up, causing water to pour into our basement.

Other than leaks through the roof that we knew would happen (until the roof is replaced in a couple weeks), this has been no big deal for us. The drain worked fine. Nothing near us appears to have been damaged or blown away, and winds never appeared bad.

Those long thunderstorms we got in May or June were much worse for us.

(I even slept in the fricking basement last night, terrified that big early rain might create drain issues.)

P.S. -- I love this blog, as I did before it was affiliated with the Post. I love being able to plug into an ongoing conversation about weather among intelligent, knowledgeable people. I can't imagine there are too many operations like this in the country -- we're really fortunate to live in the home of this group.

Posted by: Cap Hill | September 6, 2008 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Just got really windy here...8.43" of rain now. Radar shows that this is Hanna's last gasp here. Maybe another 30-45 minutes of rain and that'll be it.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 6, 2008 4:22 PM | Report abuse

Winds have really picked up here. Sustained winds are about 25mph with gust from 30-40mph. Rain total is up to 2.02"

Posted by: arnoldkh | September 6, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Finally got some wind (mostly strong gusts) in Arlington over the past hour. Rain seems to have abated. And our VERY flood-prone street stayed clear!

I have some new rainboots; perhaps I will go splash in some puddles.

Posted by: dinergirl | September 6, 2008 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Finally got some wind here in Arlington over the past hour (mostly in the form of strong gusts). Rain seems to have abated.

I have some new rain boots; perhaps I will go splash in some puddles now.

Posted by: dinergirl | September 6, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Winds really picked up in Dupont/Woodley Park area as well just over and hour or so ago. Some downed tree limbs scattered here and there, and Rock Creek is swollen. Rainfall seems to have brought the biggest impact to this area, overwhelming the combined sewer system in parts and causing minor flooding along some roadways. Major streets seem to have drained quickly, though. Must go continue helping a friend with a flooded basement (fyi - Logan Hardware still has dehumidifiers and sump pumps in stock...). Glad to see you didn't have major flooding issues during this storm, Cap Hill.

Posted by: Ann, Capital Weather Gang | September 6, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

The rain has pretty much stopped in Lake Ridge, with a grand total of 8.73" according to the Weatherbug station at Old Bridge Elementary School. The winds are really going now though.

I took two little videos (without sound) while I was out in the storm.

(Poor mailman)

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 6, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

I second CapHill in gratitude to all who provide this community for us. Do storms like this mess up teleconnections, like the North Atlantic Oscillation? What does the fact that it's 41 w/showers in Godthab Greenland, or 46 and cloudy in Angmagssalik mean to us? Warmer and drier than normal in Greenland should mean colder and wetter here, as I understand it. Same for low pressure in Tahiti meaning high pressure in Perth.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

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