Today, a combination of rains and coastal flooding brought the Potomac up to 5.99 feet, making today a “moderate flood” by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) standards. The record high is 8.7 feet from Hurricane Isabel in 2003. The National Weather Service warned that more flooding is anticipated at high tide around 4 a.m. tomorrow morning (Saturday), though it’s not forecast to get quite as high as water levels were this afternoon.
Just because the wind and rain may be letting up where you are, those along the tidal Potomac and western shore of the Chesapeake need to be aware that another round of coastal flooding is imminent later tonight. For the latest tidal flood forecasts: https://t.co/67Ghq24LYF pic.twitter.com/OlUWFP1oag
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) October 29, 2021
Strand Street and parts of Union Street were closed for much of the afternoon as locals gawked at the high water levels or tried to assist business owners in sandbagging the street-facing retail. The coastal flood warning is in effect until 2 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday).
Keith Harmon, a local canoeing through the flood, said this wasn’t the first time he’s been able to paddle his vessel along Alexandria streets.
“This isn’t the first time I’ve taken the canoe out on the road in Old Town,” Harmon said. “This is the second time for me. The last time was about four years ago.”
Plans for flooding prevention in the blocks most heavily affected today were presented earlier this month to the city’s Waterfront Commission Flood Mitigation Committee, but were dismissed as too costly and would likely have done little to stop “overtopping” as was seen today along the Potomac.
High tide in Old Town Alexandria. Substantial flooding we’ve not seen since hurricane Isabel in 2003. pic.twitter.com/NyvPd0P5d9
— Alex & Wendy (@OldTownHome) October 29, 2021
James Cullum and Vernon Miles contributed to this story
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