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Posted at 1:10 PM ET, 09/ 6/2008

Massive Deluge Across Metro Area

By Jason Samenow

Flash flooding a danger, mainly along and west of I-95

*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, 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 | Rainfall reports from NWS | Doppler Estimated Rainfall

1:10 p.m.: Relentless rains continue at rates of more than an inch per hour in some places. The heaviest rain is currently along and to the west of I-95. 1 p.m. totals include 2.93" at National, 3.45" at Dulles and 1.57" at BWI. But some spots are already reporting 4-6" of rain. Sustained winds have been anywhere from 15-30 mph in the metro area, with wind gusts as high as 40-50 mph. Winds may pick up just a bit more as the storm center passes to the southeast over the next couple hours.

Between 4 and 7 p.m. we should start to see the rain moving out of the area from southwest to northeast. In the meantime, scattered reports of flooded roadways have been coming in. Never, ever drive through a flooded road.

Keep reading for earlier updates. See our earlier post for a storm timeline, rainfall potential map, wind assessment and frequently asked questions. Our rainfall forecast appears to have been underdone.

12 p.m.: The rain totals from Tropical Storm Hanna are rapidly mounting as the storm races towards the Delmarva Peninsula. Locations along and between I-95 and Rt. 29 have generally received two to as much as 6 inches of rain from Hanna. Several more inches of rain are possible.

Winds have not been consistently strong, but have tended to come in bursts in some of the heavier rain bands. 35-45 mph peak gusts have been common, with the strongest gusts east of I-95. For example, Annapolis recorded a 47 mph gust last hour.

The height of this storm should occur over the next four to six hours. This evening, wind and rain will gradually subside.

By Jason Samenow  | September 6, 2008; 1:10 PM ET
Categories:  Floods, Tropical Weather  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Hanna Pouring Very Heavy Rain over Region
Next: Hanna Deals a Saturday Soaker; End in Sight


Have 3.8" already in Fairfax, and it's raining at over 1.5"/hr. Took a walk with my son and saw serious flooding of small streams.

Posted by: JB in Fairfax City | September 6, 2008 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the storm's heaviest rain band is over DC and Northern VA now, lightening up a little to the south. If we can get past this band without serious flooding, it should be a lot better this afternoon.

Posted by: Mike from Vienna | September 6, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Anybody have any power outages yet?

Posted by: Mike from Vienna | September 6, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Chesapeake Beach 1210pm. We're in a bit of a lull at the moment, in fact I don't think it is raining and the visibility has improved to about 10 miles over the Bay. Winds are not that bad, but waves are up about 2-3 feet. Power was out from 1100-1200 but just popped back on. Still the eyewall or what is left of it has not arrived, so we're expecting another band of bad stuff soon enough.

Posted by: PenguinSix | September 6, 2008 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Outages are at almost 6,000 in N. Virginia according to

Posted by: OregonNative | September 6, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

According to the Pepco map, Mike, there's quite a few power outages....

Posted by: Jed in Bethesda | September 6, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

5.71" of rain at Old Bridge Elementary School, about a mile from me.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 6, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

relatives in outer banks for vacation braved the storm, said it wasnt too bad but there was some strong winds, Here in behtesda, i just went outside, in a place that rareley floods even the tiniest bit, there is water rushing past my ankles

Posted by: sam | September 6, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Power was out in Annandale for about five minutes around 11:30. Other than that just a LOT of rain.

Posted by: Jim F | September 6, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

flash flood warning for mo co

Posted by: sam | September 6, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the power outage reports. We haven't gotten any yet....winds haven't been too strong here, but we've gotten some massive rains.

Interesting that there is that big dry area over lower Delmarva and the Bay. That's near the center of the would expect the worst activity there.

Posted by: Mike from Vienna | September 6, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse is forecasting a buildup in sustained windspeed until one and than a die down for an hour or two until the speeds increase again until 5pm. Is this because the center should pass to the east of us around that time?

Posted by: OregonNative | September 6, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

This is SMECO's map (Southern Maryland)

BGE has a few outages as well.

Posted by: PenguinSix | September 6, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Just woke up from a nap. No power outages that I'm aware of. My coffee maker's clock isn't flashing so the power stayed on. Noticing my desk lamp flickering. No winds to speak of. Mostly just rain here.

Posted by: Havoc - Rockville, MD | September 6, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Knock on wood, but it's totally calm in Dupont and has been all morning, as far as I've seen. I was up from 4-7 am and up for good since 10 am. A friend called to say fences on the Mall tied down to withstand 30 mph winds blew down. Still, not even a leaf has rustled here. Everything is perfectly still. Streets looking a bit like creeks.

Posted by: Mlle. Dupont | September 6, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Looks like the center is passing near Williamsburg, VA right about now. Should mean we're going to go through that heavy band that just moved through once more on it's way out of town. It looks like the strongest winds will stay offshore and in the ENE "eyewall" that looks pretty nasty.

Posted by: Brian, Capital Weather Gang | September 6, 2008 12:49 PM | Report abuse

I dont remember typing "now" twice.....

Posted by: Brian | September 6, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Wind & rain in Columbia, lots of branches and limbs down, a big one on Gov. Warfield. Water rushing over the dam on Wilde Lake, but I didn't see much flooding--ponding on roads was all I saw.

Posted by: dynagirl | September 6, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

@ Laura in NWDC: The word in the field is that no seabirds have been seen at Hains Point. However, I think my friends are still out there. It's possible that when the winds pick up again a little while from now there could be something like Royal Terns. So, I think you are making the correct decision, as am I.

The center is passing too far to our south and east for there to be a good chance of seabirds locally. A similar tropical storm, Ernesto in early September 2006, produced a dozen Sooty Terns Montgomery County and DC, along with Pomarine Jaeger, Long-tailed Jaeger, Royal Tern, and a variety of sandpipers.
But then, Ernesto's center passed very close to DC.

The rain has just started after a half hour lull following strong rains, here on the edge of Takoma Park.

Posted by: Storm-petrel | September 6, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Dyna, wanna drive past my complex and see if a tree has gone through my bedroom window yet? There was a branch leftover from some T-storms that is only a matter of time...

Posted by: Brian, Capital Weather Gang | September 6, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: alexandria | September 6, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Brian, I'm with you...waiting for the demise of the tangle of trees that didn't quite fall toward the house with the big oak, but now lean precariously toward the bedroom.

Posted by: missy | September 6, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Satisfied,Brian and Greg? Saying this is is just a rainy day is like saying that Butterbean is just a heavyweight.


Where's the rain? Where's the wind? All I have in my backyard is boring old drizzle and a 5 mph breeze. Aaargh!

Posted by: Brian in Alex | September 6, 2008 9:29 AM

Just rainy day ----that is all. No big deal.

Posted by: Greg | September 6, 2008 9:35 AM

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

How's that "accu"weather prediction looking?
This .85 inches has been falling since 9:30.

that's weird, Accuweather predicts only .85 inches of rain in bethesda.

Posted by: sam | September 6, 2008 9:06 AM

Posted by: flynne | September 6, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I had to empty out my rain gauge at 4 inches have had 2 more inches after that. Somewhat quiet now but yes lots of rain and the tops of the trees are swaying but small gusts down ground level.

Posted by: FallsCh/McLean | September 6, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Make it stop!!! Please.

Posted by: Fairfax | September 6, 2008 1:10 PM | Report abuse

I've got my webcam up out the window to show the waves on the Bay right now. Getting a bit cloudier than it was an hour ago, but still not raining very much (I'm actually quite surprised at the lack of rain out here).

Posted by: PenguinSix | September 6, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, PenguinSix!

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Is the worst of Hanna over?

Posted by: Yellow Boy | September 6, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Old Bridge Elementary School's Weatherbug reporting 6.40" at 1:22PM. This is crazy...

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 6, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The guy on Channel 7 just said that parts of P.Wm Co. have seen 6 inches of rain in the last 3 hours with 1-3 more inches to come.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Well, no, Brian, not really. I'm thinking about a nap! Maybe I can persuade one of these crazy joggers to do it, though.

Posted by: dynagirl | September 6, 2008 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Pouring for hours in Leesburg. Strongest gusts have occurred in the last 45min. about 30mph.

Posted by: OregonNative | September 6, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think so, Yellow Boy. They say the eye is over us right now. From August 1 til today we had 2 inches of rain. Saunders middle school 6.84 since 9:30. Clearing predicted at aroun 7 pm.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

very nice job CWG as always during major events. I even notice improvement when I wouldn't have thought there was room for. Once we get past Hanna interested to learn about Ike which is looking like another big threat to the Gulf.

Posted by: jeffc | September 6, 2008 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: mcleaNed | September 6, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I think I need to get a gauge that does more than 4 inches at the time...I gotta go empty it again in the rain :-( so roughly 8 inches here and its just started picking back up better run out and dump it out

Posted by: FallsCh/McLean | September 6, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

No wonder they invented Scotch.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

I've got two daughters who live in France, one in Brest where the rescue ships (called "The Bees) sail out into the Atlantic and the Bay of Biscay. They say the one thing that the Europeans can't get enough of on the news is tornadoes. Evidently, they just don't happen over there, and are a topic of endless fascination.

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2008 1:38 PM | Report abuse

FallsCh/McLean, Channel 7 said you and norther P.Wm Co. are in the center of the bullseye. Thanks for your readings!

Posted by: flynnie | September 6, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse

No problem not much else to do but nap (and avoid house work) I'm shocked we still have power the first hint of rain and our power goes out.

I am sitting here watching the rain gauge go up its raining so hard.

Ahh its slacked off again for a few moments time to run the hounds out for a quick break as I hear more rain coming

Posted by: FallsCh/Mclean | September 6, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

The past several hours have been filled with torrential rain here in Sterling! Look at all the oranges in LoCo:

If only this was snow... 60+ inches!

Posted by: Sterling | September 6, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

6.88" of rain in Lake Ridge at OBES and still pouring like all get out. I see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it's not a train! Looks like the end of the rain is quickly approaching from the west.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 6, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Folks, for up-to-the minute storm impact updates from other Washington Post reporters, check out: There are reports of serious flooding and one traffic-related fatality now. Thank goodness this storm is moving fast!

Looks like NWS' rainfall outlook of up to 10 inches in places may turn out to be correct. I know Steve Tracton from CWG has been concerned about the heavy rain potential for a couple of days now. But our official forecast was underdone I'd say.

Posted by: Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang | September 6, 2008 2:05 PM | Report abuse

4 inches right now in the LoCo bootheel, but my rain gauge is on the sw corner of my front yard and blocked from the ne direction that the rain is flying in from. I'm guessing that I have had at least 5 inches here if not more.

Posted by: Dulles ARC | September 6, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Radar shows heaviest rain is nearly stationary now over D.C. and Fairfax County. Storm is SE of D.C. and as soon as it moves north of our latitude the rain will pivot out with it. Many roadways are becoming flooded and impassible, according to and other reports. Do not travel unless you have to during the next couple of hours.

Posted by: Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang | September 6, 2008 2:09 PM | Report abuse

Actually, once the storm is due east of us the heaviest rain should wind down or may have wound down already.

Posted by: Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang | September 6, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

its really coming down now; sheets of rain and a little bit more wind. between mclean and falls church

Posted by: Peter L | September 6, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Do we know where the center is located now?

Posted by: OregonNative | September 6, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Here is a suggestion. Don't depend on Accuweather for anything. They have turned into a hype site and their forecasts have been increasingly inacurate.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 6, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Anyone have a barometer in in their house? I'll post some of my readings...

11:53 p.m last night: 1011
9:04 a.m. today: 1006
1:08 p.m: 999
2:15 p.m.: 998

Posted by: mcleaNed | September 6, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Posted at 1:44 PM ET, 09/ 6/2008
Evacuations Reported
From reporter Philip Rucker:

Fairfax County authorities ordered the evacuation of 30 homes on Arlington Terrace in Huntington due to flooding, Fairfax Police Sgt. Dalton Becker said. The residents have been sent to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center.

Posted by: alexandria | September 6, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Yes I have to agree with Peter L right now we are getting the hardest rain and wind of the whole day, that G*d it's almost over.

!0+ inches and counting

Posted by: FallsCh/McLean | September 6, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Almost 13,000 Dominion customers have lost power in the last two minutes! Where they stand right now:

58747 Total Outages
8913 NoVa
79 Shenandoah Valley
6192 Richmond
2319 Southside
4943 Gloucester
31917 Southeast VA
4424 North Carolina

Posted by: mcleaNed | September 6, 2008 2:24 PM | Report abuse

7.36" of rain now.

mcleaNed: Pressure was 1002hPa when I went to bed at 1030 or so. Pressure was 995hPa when I woke up at 1000 this morning. Pressure is 989hPa at 2:31PM when I'm writing this.

I just went outside and took some video, it's raining so hard it's not funny. It's not terribly windy, but when a gust gets going it'll knock you over.

Posted by: weatherdudeVA | September 6, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Weatherdude: 989? That's crazy! Where in VA is your station located?

Posted by: mcleaNed | September 6, 2008 2:38 PM | Report abuse

New post is up. Visit our home page

Posted by: Jason, Capital Weather Gang | September 6, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

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 7.48" 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 | Report abuse

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