Archive | Floods RSS for this section

View List of Road Closures Today

Posted 8:12 a.m.

More than 30 roads (as of 7 a.m.) are closed due to flooding this morning.

As always, never drive through flooded roads. Turn around, don’t drown. Numerous swift water rescues have been conducted today.

 

Here are a few examples of flooded roads that have been tweeted today:

 

Heavy Rains Lead to Flash Flood Warning

Posted 7:37 a.m. // Updated 7:55 a.m.

Photo of car that did NOT turn around on a flooded road two weeks ago in the Chantilly area.

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood warning until 10:15 a.m. because of all the rain we’ve received since last night. Excessive runoff from the heavy rain will cause flash flooding of small creeks, streams, urban areas, highways, streets, underpasses and other drainage areas and low lying spots.

UPDATE: List of road closures

Key safety tips to keep in mind:

  • If you’re driving, please do not drive through flooded roads. Turn around don’t drown. There have been some swift water rescues today.
  • Today is Bike to Work Day. If you’re still planning to bike to work, please be safe in areas with high water.
  • Please keep children away from creeks and streams as the water may rise quickly.

 

 

Severe Thunderstorm Watch in Effect Until 8 p.m.; Flash Flood Watch Beginning at 6 p.m.

Posted at 12:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm watch in effect until 8 p.m. this evening, Thursday, May 15.

In addition, a flash flood watch is in effect from 6 p.m. tonight through Friday afternoon for Fairfax County and the National Capital Region. A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding.

NWS-graphic-5-5-14

Showers and scattered thunderstorms are expected with periods of heavy rain developing late this afternoon and continuing through midday Friday. The heaviest rain will be late tonight into Friday morning. Rainfall amounts of 2 to 4 inches are expected with locally higher amounts possible. This amount of rainfall has the potential to produce flash flooding, especially in urban areas and along small rivers and streams.

Huntington and Belle View/New Alexandria Residents

Based on the latest NWS forecast, county officials estimate that if we receive localized rainfall of 1-1/2 inches of rain within a one hour period, residents will likely experience minor street flooding in the Huntington area. As a precaution, residents in the Huntington area are encouraged to move vehicles to higher elevations.

County officials also believe that residents experience localized street flooding near the intersection of Olde Towne Road an Wood Haven Road and the vicinity of 6700 West Wakefield Drive in the Belle View/New Alexandria areas.  However, no structural flooding in the Huntington or Belle View/New Alexandria areas is anticipated based on the latest forecast.  Staff from the county’s Public Works and Environmental Services, public safety and emergency management offices will continue to monitor the storm and provide updates if the forecast or anticipated conditions worsen.

Current Forecast

  • This Afternoon: A chance of showers and thunderstorms after 2pm. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 81. Southeast wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
  • Tonight: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce gusty winds and heavy rain. Low around 62. Southeast wind 13 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between 2 and 3 inches possible.
  • Friday: Showers and possibly a thunderstorm. Some of the storms could produce heavy rain. High near 71. South wind 9 to 13 mph becoming north in the afternoon. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New rainfall amounts between three quarters and one inch possible.
  • Friday Night: A chance of showers between 8pm and 2am. Cloudy, then gradually becoming partly cloudy, with a low around 48. Calm wind becoming northwest around 6 mph after midnight. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Saturday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 72. West wind 7 to 13 mph.

Severe thunderstorms and flash flood watch for Fairfax County

Continue to monitor weather forecasts and be prepared to take action should flash flood warnings be issued. You should also sign up to receive weather alerts on your mobile device, as well as by email, from the Community Emergency Alert Network (CEAN). Sign up at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cean.

 

Roads are Wet – Drive Careful This Afternoon

Posted at 4:20 p.m.

Fairfax County and the surrounding areas have received a lot of rain in the past 24 hours, and while the intensity has decreased, rain is still falling in certain areas and roadways are wet, which affects your ability to quickly stop your vehicle during your afternoon commute.

Here are some safety tips to keep in mind this afternoon and evening as you travel.

First, turn on your headlights and your windshield wipers. Your wipers are obvious, but unfortunately, many of us forget to turn on our headlights, which helps us be seen by others on these overcast, grey rainy days.

Once in your vehicle and on your way, remember to give yourself plenty of space around other vehicles. AAA Mid-Atlantic suggests on three-lane roads to drive in the middle lane. They say that most roads are higher in the middle, which means there’s a greater chance of water runoff and standing water in the side lanes.

Avoid Hydroplaning

Be sure to slow down when you see water standing on the surface of the pavement, especially on freeways. Also, drive in the tracks left by any vehicle ahead.

If hydroplaning does occur, do not brake. Instead, ease your foot off the accelerator to gradually decrease speed until your tires regain traction, and continue to look and steer where you want to go. In fact braking in wet conditions is tricky business. Sudden, hard or prolonged braking can cause a skid.

If your vehicle is equipped with anti-lock brakes (ABS), all you need to do is press the brake pedal and hold it down. Do not pump the brakes, because ABS does that very rapidly for you. The system automatically senses if a wheel begins to lock and quickly releases and reapplies the brakes as many times as necessary to keep the wheel from locking up.

If your vehicle is not equipped with anti-lock brakes, the best way to brake under these conditions is to use squeeze braking. For squeeze braking, keep your heel on the floor and use your toes to apply pressure on the brake pedal. If the wheels lock, ease off the brake pedal to a point where they just release. Adjust pedal pressure as necessary. This gives you the best combination of braking effort and directional control.

Flood Warning and Flash Flood Watch

The National Weather Service has extended the Flood Warning for Fairfax County until 9 p.m. tonight and a Flash Flood Watch remains in effect through late tonight.

Rapidly moving water is powerful and can be a threat to vehicles as well as people and property. Please stay away from rapidly rising creeks and streams and don’t drive through roads covered in water. You can’t tell how deep the water may be, so remember to turn around, don’t drown.

Weather information is online at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/weather-forecast.htm.

Tips provided by AAA Mid-Atlantic

 

Weather Update: Flash Flood Warning Issued Until 4:15 p.m.

Posted at 2 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning until 4:15 p.m. this afternoon for Fairfax County and other portions of Northern Virginia.

At 1:17 p.m., NWS Doppler radar indicated very heavy rain capable of producing flash flooding. Up to three inches of rain has fallen in the last 24 hours. Additional rainfall amounts of up to 1 inch can be expected.

Driving Safety

Please remember to turn on your headlights anytime you turn on your wipers, but also if it’s overcast or rainy — like today. The short video below from the California Department of Motor Vehicles does a good job of showing why you need to turn on your headlights. Plus, it’s also the law!

Affected Roads

Several roads in the county have been impacted. Our Police Department is posting updates about roads being affected by high waters, including pictures, on its Facebook page and blog.

Please don’t drive through flooded or rain covered roads. Turn Around. Don’t Drown! More pictures can be found on our Police Department’s Facebook page.


Latest weather forecast.

More Heavy Rain Expected; Flash Flood Warning Until 3 p.m.

Posted at 11:55 a.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Warning for Fairfax County until 3 p.m. this afternoon.

A flood warning means that flooding is imminent or has been reported. Stream rises will be slow. However, you should take necessary precautions immediately.

Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Never drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. When encountering flooded roads make the smart choice – turn around, don’t drown. Bruce McFarlane with our Emergency Management Office offers this advice.

And please keep your children inside and away from streams and creeks.

Our emergency  management office, in consultation with NWS, reports that anywhere from 1.25 to 2 inches of rain had fallen across Fairfax County this morning with another 1.5 inches of rain expected between noon and 6 p.m. Rainfall totals should approach 5-6 inches over the course of the storm.

A few roads have been impacted. Our Police Department is posting updates about roads being affected by high waters, including pictures, on its Facebook page and blog.

Fairfax County Va. weather radar #ffxweather

Huntington and Belle View/New Alexandria

For residents in the Huntington area, there could be some street flooding sometime today. County officials also report that residents in the Belle View/New Alexandria area could experience localized street flooding today. You should continue to move your vehicles to higher elevations if you have not already done so.

Fairfax County’s public works and emergency management officials do not anticipate any structural flooding at this time in either of these communities, but staff are continuing to monitor the storm — including our Emergency Operations Center — and will provide updates to residents if conditions change. Be sure to sign up for weather alerts to ensure that you receive these messages.

Get more on the weather forecast at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/weather-forecast.htm.

 

Hazardous Weather Outlook Calls for Heavy Rain and Winds Through Wednesday Night

Posted at 11 a.m.

Fairfax County is now under a Coastal Flood Advisory and a Flash Flood Watch beginning this evening at 10 p.m. A flash flood watch means that there is the potential for flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation. Rapidly moving water is powerful and can be a threat to vehicles as well as people and property.

The National Weather Service (NWS) Hazardous Weather Outlook forecasts thunderstorms Wednesday afternoon and evening that will be capable of producing torrential rainfall and damaging wind gusts.

NWS reports that rain will continue through Wednesday night with the heaviest rain expected tonight through tomorrow night. Storm total rainfall amounts will average between 3 and 5 inches with locally higher amounts likely. Heavy amounts of rain in short periods of time may cause flash flooding of creeks streams and urban areas.

Flooding Safety

turn around don't drown

Flooding causes more damage in the U.S. than any other weather related event and is the second leading cause of weather related fatalities in the U.S. (behind heat). On average, floods cause $8 billion in damages and over 80 fatalities annually.

Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. Only 18 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs. It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters. Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.

Bruce McFarlane is with our Emergency Management Office and offers this advice if you’re in your car.


And please remember to keep your children inside and away from streams and creeks.

Resources

Get more information about flood safety and what you should do before, during and after a flood at www.floodsafety.noaa.gov. Here’s a list of areas in the county that have previously flooded. For more information on flood safety tips and information, visit ready.gov/floods or the Spanish-language website listo.gov.

In addition, continue to monitor weather forecasts and be prepared to take action should warnings be issued. A warning would mean that we have moved from the possibility of flooding to a flooding situation in a specific area.

 

Flood Warning Until 7 p.m. Tonight (April 15) for Eastern Fairfax County

UPDATE: 4:25 p.m.

This afternoon’s flood warning has been canceled by the National Weather Service.

Posted at 3:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service  has issued a Flood Warning for urban areas and small streams in Eastern Fairfax County until 7 p.m. this evening, Tuesday, April 15.

Around 3 p.m. this afternoon, observations indicated one to two inches of rain had fallen today between Burke and Springfield. Area streams were on the rise and some flooding of low-lying areas near streams, as well as low spots on roads near the stream crossings, is expected this afternoon.

A flood warning means that flooding is imminent or has been reported. Stream rises will be slow. However, you should take necessary precautions immediately. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall will cause elevated levels on small creeks and streams and ponding of water in urban areas such as highways, streets and underpasses as well as other poor drainage areas and low lying spots.

If you encounter excessive water on area roads, remember to “Turn Around; Don’t Drown.” And please keep children indoors and away from streams or creeks that may rise rapidly.

Get more on the weather forecast at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/weather-forecast.htm.

Know What To Do If You Encounter Flooding This Spring

Posted at 2:30 p.m.

This is Flood Safety Awareness Week (March 16-22), but flooding can happen at any time and anywhere!

Flooding causes more damage in the U.S. than any other weather related event and is the second leading cause of weather related fatalities in the U.S. (behind heat). On average, floods cause $8 billion in damages and over 80 fatalities annually.

Just six inches of fast-moving water can knock over an adult. Only 18 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including large SUVs. It is impossible to tell the exact depth of water covering a roadway or the condition of the road below the water. This is especially true at night when your vision is more limited. It is never safe to drive or walk through flood waters. Any time you come to a flooded road, walkway or path, follow this simple rule: Turn Around, Don’t Drown.
Turn Around. Don't Drown.
One way to prepare is with flood insurance. Keep your head above water by learning the basics about this special coverage available for homes and businesses. Here’s what you should know:

  • Flood losses are not typically covered under renter and homeowner’s insurance policies.
  • Flood insurance is available in most communities through insurance agents.
  • There is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a valuable resource to learn more about your flood risk, how to find an agent, and the flood recovery process. NFIP also offers interactive ways to understand floods. Calculate the cost of flooding, watch real flood testimonials and launch a levee simulator to take your flood knowledge to the next level.

More information about floods and what you should do before, during and after a flood is at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/hazards/flooding.htm.

Flood Warning Tonight; Be Careful Around Roads, Creeks and Streams

Updated 11:35 p.m.

Flood warning in effect until 5:15 a.m.

Posted 5:48 p.m.

turn around don't drownThe National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for our area until 11:15 p.m. A flood warning means that flooding is imminent or has been reported.

From the weather service:

Three to six inches of rain has fallen. An additional one to three inches of rain is expected through this evening. The heavy rainfall will cause creeks and streams to rise out of their banks. 

Precautionary/preparedness actions…

Most flood deaths occur in automobiles. Never drive your vehicle into areas where the water covers the roadway. Flood waters are usually deeper than they appear. Just one foot of flowing water is powerful enough to sweep vehicles off the road. When encountering flooded roads make the smart choice…turn around…don’t drown.

If you find yourself or see others trapped in a vehicle due to rising/standing water, call 9-1-1. We experienced water vehicle rescues earlier this year in July after heavy rain, so please pay attention, especially as it becomes dark outside:

View roads that historically flood in the county.

In addition to the driving safety tips, please keep children away from creeks and their potentially rapidly rising waters.

Drive Carefully, Watch for Flooded Roads and Turn On Headlights

Updated 4:10 p.m.

The National Weather Service has issued a Flood Watch for Fairfax County until midnight.

Two to five inches of rain has already has fallen since Wednesday across the greater Washington, D.C. metro area; additional amounts of one to locally three inches are possible through this evening. This amount of rainfall would cause flooding of small streams and urban areas.

A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. You should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop.

 

Posted at 3:15 p.m.

 

Motorists are reminded to be mindful of flooded roads on the commute home this afternoon. Fairfax County Police are currently reporting several road closures in the county.

Never drive through standing water on a roadway. Water may be much deeper than you think, causing your car to stall or even get stuck in hidden debris.  When in doubt, remember to “turn around, don’t drown.” And please remember to turn on your headlights whenever you turn on your windshield wipers. Not only will it help your vehicle we seen — but it’s the law!

Additional Flood Safety Tips

  • Six inches of water will reach the bottom of most passenger cars causing loss of control and possible stalling.
  • A foot of water will float many vehicles.
  • Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles including sport utility vehicles (SUVs) and pick-ups.
  • Keep children away from creeks as water may rise rapidly.

If you need help or witness someone needing help, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

If you live in a traditionally flood-prone area of the county, then you may want move your vehicles to higher ground. View a list of roads that traditionally flood in Fairfax County: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/emergency/hazards/roads-that-flood.htm

The Importance of “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”

Posted 9:46 a.m.

Sometimes when we share the message, “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” we hear feedback that it’s an obvious statement or unnecessary.

We use this message often because nationwide, over half of all flood-related drownings occur when a vehicle is driven into hazardous flood water, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Overnight, our Fire and Rescue Department conducted eight swift water rescues, successfully helping a total of 11 people out of their vehicles, including this one:

We share this safety message not because we want to share the most obvious observation, but because it really can happen, as proven last night.

Three key tips to keep in mind:

  1. Never drive through a flooded roadway; the depth, current and condition of the road are all unknowns and can be deadly.
  2. If your vehicle stalls on a flooded road and water is rising, get out of car, call 911, and move to higher ground.
  3. Be especially cautious during periods of limited visibility or nighttime when it is extremely difficult to see and judge conditions.

"Turn Around, Don't Drown" image

Potentially Dangerous Storms Loom for Thursday; 7 Ways to Prepare Now

Posted 3:53 p.m.

Potentially dangerous thunderstorms are possible in our area Thursday. The National Weather Service is calling for possible heavy rains, flooding, tornadoes and strong winds that could pose numerous challenges.

Take this threat seriously. While nothing like the wrath of last year’s derecho storm is predicted at this time, this line of storms may cause more havoc than a usual summer thunderstorm. There are a few things you can do today and this evening to prepare:

1.) Secure Loose Items

Bring in or secure any loose items outside your house or on your condo balcony. High winds could cause those objects to fly around and injure people or damage property.

2.) Storm Drains

Check rain gutters and storm drains. We’ve had a lot of rain in recent days and with more on the way, flooding is possible, so make sure drains are clear.

3.) Digital Preparedness

Prepare digitally! Power outages are possible, so have your devices fully charged. Here are 10 more tips to help with digital preparedness.

4.) Power Outage Supplies

Have enough batteries, flashlights, radios and other things you may need for a power outage.

5.) Report Power Outages

Be ready to report power outages to your provider: Dominion Virginia Power 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357), TTY 711; NOVEC 1-888-335-0500 or 703-335-0500, TTY 711.

6.) Stay Alert and Informed

Weather forecasts can vary, so stay informed and keep an eye on changing weather conditions. Pay particular attention to tornado watches (conditions favorable) and warnings (tornado sighted, seek shelter).

  • Sign up for our emergency text alerts/emails. If you live in the Huntington, Belle View and New Alexandria areas of the county, you should choose the “Riverwatch” group for information about possible flooding.
  • Follow @fairfaxcounty on Twitter; use #ffxstorm to share what you’re seeing locally.
  • This blog will have updates as events warrant, so if you’re not already subscribed by email or RSS, please do so by visiting the top right column of this page.
  • Follow local media reports, credible social media accounts and other information sources for the latest alerts, warnings and protective actions.

7.) Share Information

Share this information with coworkers, neighbors, your faith community and more. Use the sharing tools below or print this information. Help someone, too, such as an elderly neighbor in securing loose items or checking storm drains.

 

Audio Tips:

Localized Flooding Anticipated from Tropical Storm Andrea

Posted at 6:30 a.m.

The latest National Weather forecast calls for heavy rain bands to move into our area today with the heaviest rain expected mid-day continuing into the evening. We already received roughly 1-2 inches of rainfall overnight and officials are anticipating another 2 to 4 inches of rain today.

Based on the latest NWS forecast we may experience significant street flooding in the Huntington area and localized street flooding in the Belle View/New Alexandria areas. Residents in those areas of the county are encouraged to move their vehicles to higher ground. Use common sense and don’t park in restricted areas.

At this point, structural flooding is not anticipated in either the Huntington or Belle View/New Alexandria areas. 

A flash flood watch has been issued for the majority of the National Capital Region, including Fairfax County, with heavy rainfall expected during the day and into the evening. A flash flood watch means that conditions may develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding is a very dangerous situation.

Excessive runoff from heavy rains may lead to flash flooding of low lying areas and small streams. Parents are reminded to keep children away from streams and rivers as they may overflow very quickly and with saturated river banks, playing near moving water is a dangerous situation. Please keep children away from creeks/streams that may rise rapidly.

turn around don't drownIf you are in your car, remember “Turn Around; Don’t Drown.”  Water may be much deeper than you think, causing your car to stall or even get stuck in hidden debris; road beds may be washed out under flood waters. Just six inches of swiftly moving water can knock someone off their feet and approximately two feet of swift water can move or float most vehicles, including SUV’s and pickup trucks. Don’t get trapped in flood waters – find an alternative route.

You probably already are familiar with them, but here’s a list of roads that traditionally flood in Fairfax County.

You should continue to monitor the weather forecast for updated information and be prepared to take action as necessary.

National Weather Service Radar

For more information on flood safety tips and information, visit ready.gov/floods or the Spanish-language website listo.gov.

Turn Around. Don’t Drown

turn around don't drown

Posted at 12:25 p.m.

The National Weather Service reports that more deaths occur due to flooding than from any other severe weather-related hazard. Avoid flood hazards by following the mantra “Turn Around. Don’t Drown.”

Six inches of fast-moving flood water can knock over an adult. As little as 12 inches of flowing water can carry away most vehicles, including SUVs. Safety first – if you are unsure about the amount of water on a flooded road, Turn Around. Don’t Drown.

With rain in the forecast for the next couple of days, here’s a few reminders to keep you safe during a flood:

  • Always plan ahead and know the risks before flooding happens.
  • If flooding is expected or is occurring, get to higher ground FAST! Leave typical flood areas such as ditches, ravines, dips or low spots and canyons.
  • NEVER drive through flooded roadways. Road beds may be washed out under flood waters. Turn Around Don’t Drown.
  • Do not camp or park your vehicle along streams and washes, particularly during threatening conditions.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood dangers.
  • Never cross any barriers that are put in place by local emergency officials.
  • Avoid areas already flooded, especially if the water is flowing fast. Do not attempt to cross flowing streams. Turn Around. Don’t Drown.

If you need additional information, contact our Office of Emergency Management at 571-350-1000, TTY 711, or email oem@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 30,116 other followers