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Posted at 9:15 AM ET, 08/12/2010

After raking area, severe t'storms have exited

By Jason Samenow

9:15 a.m. update: Storms have moved off and no warnings are in effect in the area. Cleveland Park and Forest Glen Metro stations (9:30 update--apparently Forest Glen has reopened) are closed due to earlier flooding. More than 100,000 power outages across region - see more storm impact info/photos on Post Local. We'll have updated forecast info and post storm coverage coming shortly...

For a summary of flash flooding and wind damage reports across the area, see National Weather Service Storm Damage reports.

8:45 a.m. update: Severe thunderstorm warnings remain in effect for Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary's counties through 9:15 a.m. where extremely heavy rain, flooding, and damaging winds remain possible. Across the Bay, a tornado warning is in effect in southeastern Talbot county through 9:00 a.m. Fortunately, across the rest of the region, storms have ended and the sun is coming out. There is a chance of additional storms later this afternoon, though they should not be as strong. Stay tuned for a forecast update in the next hour.

8:15 a.m. update: Powerful thunderstorms now exiting District and impacting southeast Fairfax, southern PG and Anne Arundel counties. Over the next 30 minutes, the storms will sweep through northern Charles and Calvert counties. The storms have produced tens of thousands of power outages, wind gusts to near 60 mph (58 mph gust in Montgomery Village). Doppler estimated rainfall totals indicate around 1 inch of rain (with isolated 1.5"+ amounts) was produced by these storms -- in just about 30 mins -- enough to cause flash flooding.

Reader tweets:

@swegl: deep water on rt 50 east at ballston/glebe exit. but everyone seemed to get through it fine - just backing up traffic.

@thedcrider: About that flash flood at 15th and Constitution NW

@JCDavis19 all hell broke loose in Rock Creek Park. Trees and limbs down, including on top of my parents' house.

Keep reading for earlier updates...

7:45 a.m update: Intense thunderstorms are continuing to slide east and southeast. The storms -- now exiting Montgomery county (PEPCO reporting over 60K outages there), have swallowed the District and northern Prince George's county and will head into southeast Fairfax, central and southern PG and then Calvert counties. These areas can expect torrential rain, potentially damaging winds and frequent lighting.

Reader tweets:

@MDScot: More water on the Ameri Legion bridge than under it

@chriscardno: tree down on a bus in potomac, seven locks road closed.

@CindyBoren: I'm shaking, flooding on Veirs Mill near Ct Ave. People having to be rescued from cars, sitting on hoods and roof

From 7:00 a.m.: A cluster of strong to severe thunderstorms is moving through the northern suburbs and towards the District. Torrential rain, thunder, gusty winds and lightning have been reported in Montgomery county. Over the next 30 to 45 minutes these storms will move to the east and southeast impacting northeastern Fairfax county, the District, as well northern Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties. The main impact with these storms will be the very heavy rain which will reduce visibilities for morning commuters -- especially from the north side of the beltway and to the northeast. In addition, gusty winds and frequent lightning are likely with these storms while hail has been reported in a couple instances.

Recommend allowing extra time for what will be a difficult commute -- especially on the northern side of the Beltway and into the District.

Reader tweets and comments

@Buffalo_Theory: Flooding on veirs mill in Wheaton. Water up to bumpers/headlights.

@GranthamCW: this stuff is no joke. It looks like 3am out my window and the rain is coming down at a 30 degree angle.

@Hoyas4Ever: Getting hammered in Silver Spring. Scary hail.

@wendywoowho: Saw a car floating down the street on Great Falls in Rockville. Nasty out there.

By Jason Samenow  | August 12, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  Updates  
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Next: Forecast: Morning storms gone; more to come?


We are getting crushed off layhill road! Hail, high winds, crazy lighting. Crazy stuff.

Posted by: bgaffney491 | August 12, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

dime sized hail, some even to quarter

Posted by: bgaffney491 | August 12, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Judging by the radar it's quite a wake up call for the northern suburbs, especially for all the kids on summer vacation who are used to sleeping late. RISE AND SHINE KIDS, IT'S ARMAGEDDON OUTSIDE!!!

Posted by: rwalker66 | August 12, 2010 7:22 AM | Report abuse

crazy lighting = intense iightning

Posted by: bgaffney491 | August 12, 2010 7:23 AM | Report abuse

crazy lighting = intense lightning

(sorry it's early)

Posted by: bgaffney491 | August 12, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Getting totally slammed here in Beltsville, I can't remember the last time we saw this much lightning. Rain coming down in buckets.

Posted by: ana_b | August 12, 2010 7:26 AM | Report abuse

Getting hammered in Silver Spring. Scary hail.

Posted by: Hoyas4Ever | August 12, 2010 7:29 AM | Report abuse

Biggest lightning storm of the yr probably. Nice wakeup. Looks like some wind damage in the city again?

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 7:42 AM | Report abuse

Very heavy rain and frequent lightning and thunder here in the Tenleytown/Van Ness area.

Posted by: batsandgates | August 12, 2010 7:44 AM | Report abuse

Animated radar on WeatherUnderground 7:45 indicates "signature" J-curve over Arlington. Just sayin'

Posted by: atoms5 | August 12, 2010 7:47 AM | Report abuse

7:45 am - strong nw winds, lightning, heavy rain moving across Old Town Alexandria

Posted by: TonyWolfe | August 12, 2010 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Storm just moved out of the area here near the 495/270 spur in MD. Long storm-- probably 20-30 minutes of intense thunder, lightning and rain.

Shockingly, I didn't lose power.

Posted by: TheGJ | August 12, 2010 7:49 AM | Report abuse

Wow. What originally looked like it would miss us here in SE Cap Hill ended up being a powerful lightshow with torrential rain. Still coming down too!

Posted by: rhingo | August 12, 2010 7:50 AM | Report abuse

Awesome! Wish I'd known when I woke up super early this morning to go into work and get my run in (since, you know, forecasts were calling for thunderstorms this afternoon/evening, when I would normally run) that I would actually end up seeing the darkest skies I've ever seen in the middle of my morning run.

You've foiled me again, CWG.

Posted by: grimesman | August 12, 2010 7:53 AM | Report abuse

Well, I for one feel cheated.

Posted by: rocotten | August 12, 2010 7:55 AM | Report abuse

Very intense as it moved over Falls Church. A few wind gusts as it came by. To think I was out at 5:45 am watering my plants to prepare for the hot day. It's just hard rain now.

Posted by: tbva | August 12, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

My locked hopper window (here in downtown silver spring), actually blew open about 20 minutes ago! I come from Louisiana, and lived through Hurricanes Andrew and Georges, but I have never seen anything like this.

Posted by: alertcitizen1 | August 12, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

Wow, what a storm here in the SS/TP area. Power still on...1.95" in my rain guage in less than 30 minutes---can that be right?

Posted by: steske | August 12, 2010 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I could see it, hear it, and smell it, and the Weather Channel radar already shows over one inch of rain fell just 3 miles from my home, across the river in Maryland. I didn't see a drop fall, though maybe one or two on the ground. As someone who likes things to be green, I am jealous.

Posted by: rocotten | August 12, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

Not much rain to speak of in Sterling this morning, but the constant distant thunder was creepy. No rain at all at work in McLean.

Posted by: Sterlingva | August 12, 2010 8:07 AM | Report abuse

Don't think I have ever seen it as dark as it is in the Kingstowne section of Alexandria, almost like night! Very hard rain.

Posted by: Log711 | August 12, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

That was one of the worst thunderstorms I've ever driven through. Silver Spring to Chevy Chase. I sure hope my electricity is still on.

Posted by: Murre | August 12, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Sligo Creek Parkway in Silver Spring is a river and is being shut down. Power out along it.

Posted by: lenzai | August 12, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

Luckily the trees in Shaw didn't get damaged again, with this storm.

steske - yes, that rain amount is plausible looking at these radar rain total estimates!

hope everyone's property and such made it through this severe storm line!

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

Thanks everyone for your reports - and also remember, do NOT DRIVE THROUGH FLOODWATERS on many of these roads I am seeing are underwater.

Posted by: Camden-CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 8:15 AM | Report abuse

partial blue skies in crystal city...
what impact will this have on the afternoon storms?

Posted by: pzkpfw | August 12, 2010 8:17 AM | Report abuse

At McPherson Square metro station, the water was pouring from the ceiling like a waterfall around 10 mins ago. Never seen anything like that before. I can only imagine what it must have been like at street level.

Posted by: Ucfman3 | August 12, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

Some of these reports are insane! Just thunder and Sunshine here in Reston.

Posted by: TheAnalyst | August 12, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Looks like it's pretty much over here in Arlington, but it was wild for a good 30 minutes. Lots of lightning, horizontal rain, trees bending this way and that, BUT we didn't lose power! Am deeply grateful for that.

Posted by: Akabang | August 12, 2010 8:23 AM | Report abuse

grimesman, there was mention of morning rain but I suppose not enough. These NW flow "events" do produce well from time to time, hard to predict severe weather at dawn though.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

That was sick! I live in Rockville and the wind was blowing the rain sideways and it felt like the thunder was a sustained rumble for 30 minutes. Our power flickered a few times but never went out.

And to think, 8 years ago today my wife and I were married on a beach in Malibu. Wish I was there right now! Hope everyone is safe.

Posted by: authorofpoetry | August 12, 2010 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Moved into an English basement in Columbia Heights this month. Now it's completely flooded :(

Posted by: dckid | August 12, 2010 8:33 AM | Report abuse

Water is coming from the sky. It's the oddest thing.

Posted by: skcdc1 | August 12, 2010 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Why does it seem that Montgomery County gets these storms much more often than, say, Arlington or Fairfax? Is it just a coincidence, or is there some meteorological/geographical/topographical explanation?

Posted by: chrisduckworth | August 12, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Ceiling-to-floor waterfall also at Foggy Bottom station platform - serious volume, too. Surprised not to see a pic online, as every other person stopped to take a cell phone pic of it.

Posted by: asgeir | August 12, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse


Lights out at Woodfield & Warfield Rd. outside of Laytonsville & also at Fieldcrest & 124.

I knew it was bad when my Fatty Gato decided to leave his food bowl & hide under the bed. When a cat named Fatty leaves food, it's pretty bad outside. LOL!

Any chance this afternoons storms will be that crazy?

Posted by: wadejg | August 12, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

My goodness.
I'm jealous of the rainfall, but not all that lightning to our east. Just the lightest of sprinkles on my Centreville windshield this morning.
More storms this afternoon, or is this the motherload?

Posted by: FIREDRAGON47 | August 12, 2010 8:40 AM | Report abuse

I am in my office in New Carrollton. Looking out the window facing east towards eastern PG county, it is very dark with low lying clouds in the distance. It is quiet now here in NC.

Posted by: rusty6 | August 12, 2010 8:41 AM | Report abuse

What's a "signature" J-curve?

I'm glad to be up in Newport, RI at the moment. Also glad that the tree on my patio went partially down in the first of these storms a couple of weeks ago. It's chopped up and awaiting removal. The most recent ones probably would have sent it crashing through a window!


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 12, 2010 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow, being Deaf has its advantages! I slept through the storm and when I woke up, I wasn't sure if it was 8pm or 8am. Hope everybody here get through this morning allright!

Posted by: SanDieganLostinDC | August 12, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Watched the dark, dark clouds come in traveling east into Alexandria - hoping that the storm would begin and end before I got to King Street (as I ride the bus) - no such luck. Got drenched for a full minute and then the water shut off like a faucet. At least I'm wearing the drip-dry skirt... :)

Serious lightning and thunder too. The thundermaker part of the storm had to be right over the bus at one point...

Posted by: MKoehl | August 12, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

Nothing is western Fairfax this morning except unusually dark skies (thought I still had time to sleep, but no!) Then I hear about the severe weather on the radio. No rain or thunder at all... Rain gauge said 0.00. Hmm...

Posted by: CM_in_Fairfax | August 12, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse


I think the "signature" J-curve atoms5 is referring to, is the characteristic hook on radar imagery that indicates a possible tornado. (Thought I've always heard it called a "hook", not a signature J curve.)

Posted by: MKoehl | August 12, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

Sunshine and hazy skies in Prince William County. I think I'll get my sticks and go golfing.

Posted by: Computer_Forensics_Expert_Computer_Expert_Witness | August 12, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

chrisduckworth, this year the main deal is the subtropical ridge has been very strong so the jet is perhaps even more displaced north than "typical", or for longer at least. We've seen a lot of the better dynamics etc pass to our north and have been on the fringe. In some ways it's the same thing this morning, we caught a developing southern cell. In chase terriroty on a marginal day all the chaseres would shoot for this one because they usually pack the most punch.

Posted by: Ian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 9:09 AM | Report abuse

When shall we expect the swarms of locusts?

Posted by: see1 | August 12, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Gang: About what time will Round 2 enter the DC area?

Posted by: rusty6 | August 12, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Rock Creek Park is washed out near the Mass Ave entrance. The Creek is flowing ferociously.

Posted by: mjwies11 | August 12, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

CWG -- is this it for storms today, or are we expecting round 2 later in the afternoon?

Posted by: kudzu13 | August 12, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The park at the end of our street turned into a river! We've lived here for 10 years and I've NEVER seen that before! What a storm!

Posted by: talleyl | August 12, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Great waking up to a rocking thunderstorm and a nice greenish tint to the sky. Unfortunately that signaled doom for my commute....

Posted by: Brian-CapitalWeatherGang | August 12, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I saw the possibility of rain in the forecast, but it made it sound like there wouldn't be thunder with the rain in the morning. Still, knowing the area, I expected to hear a rumble of thunder, but I was less than prepared for the dress rehearsal to Armageddon.

Posted by: grimesman | August 12, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Kitteh was skerred!

Posted by: chunche | August 12, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, MKoehl. I remember the storm that blew through a couple of weeks ago. I was in the kitchen and saw winds pick up within minutes. I wondered if a twister might be on the way. Having grown up in flatland (Nebraska), I've had my fill of them.


Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | August 12, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

I am sitting here again in my apartment in the great county of Montgomery for what, the third or fourth time this year with no power, traffic backed up for miles on 270 , hundreds of stop lights out and the whole county in grid-lock. For a county that considers itself one of the leading counties in the country, it seems to function more like a third world country. The people running the county are morons who couldn’t manage a lemonade stand, let alone a county government. If they can’t handle a summer thunderstorm, than how the hell are they going to handle a major disaster? Luckily an election is coming up and they will all be flushed from office that is if the sewer system is working.

Posted by: ecomcon | August 12, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Can we get rid of linjingjingab X 3?

At the 301 Bridge we could hear the thunder in the northern part of Charles County. But no lightning, some dark clouds, several rain drops and a cool breeze for a couple of minutes.

Posted by: waterfrontproperty | August 12, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

When will the WaPo run an investigative series on how home owner's are being ripped off by insurance companies who won't properly pay for damages to homes and property and delay any reasonable payments as much as possible?

Posted by: 10bestfan | August 12, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's hope that Pepco gets its act together this time. One good sign - the Web site and the outage maps are actually working.

It would do them well to over communicate, let us know where the crews are, give us an idea about prioritization.

By example - we're in the neighborhood that is around the Dennis Ave tree fall in Silver Spring. Does Pepco need to wait for Montgomery County to remove the tree? Does Mongomery County need Pepco to do something? Does a tree fall in the neighborhood mean that we're more likely or less likely to get power back in short order?

With this being the third major power outage of the year in MC we're getting a good education on the fragility of the power grid in the area.

The best thing Pepco can do right now is impress the heck out of us all by showing that they are right on top of things.

Posted by: mikeintheusa | August 12, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Got my car stuck in a flash flood this morning, trying to make it from Upper Marlboro to Rockville in time for a 10AM conference call. Ended up taking the call from home after my DH got soaked pushing me out of "Lake - Wasn't Even There 10 Minutes Ago". My poor little Saab 9-3 still won't start! GEICO - I'll be talkin' with ya.

Posted by: Luna2004 | August 12, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

I left for work at 8:15 and didn't get here till 12:30. I only live 8 miles from my job, so enough said....

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | August 12, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

We had the same experience as most, in Takoma DC. Multiple lightning and thunderbolts per minute for 10-15 minutes, plus so much rain I could not see out of my house windows. Rain swept all our yard mulch off the soil, down the steps, and onto the drain, which then flooded the basement.

Three trees down within a block - one on Aspen near Laurel, which landed squarely on a home and took out the power lines on Aspen. A second on Willow at the corner of Aspen, tall but thin and just leaning on a house. A third was the top half of a 60+' evergreen in the school lot on Aspen - snapped off and crushed the playground fencing. No one injured in any of them, but a high density of downed trees.

Quite a morning, indeed.

Posted by: mcarrano | August 12, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

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