D.C. braces for floods

July 20, 2012

With a flash flood watch in effect into Friday evening, D.C. officials would rather be safe than sorry.

The Department of Public Works is distributing up to five 40-pound sandbags to any resident who would like them. Distribution ends at 11 p.m. Friday.

Likely takers include residents of the Bloomingdale neighborhood who have endured three unexpected floods in the past two weeks.

DPW spokeswoman Linda Grant said she thought the last time the city distributed sandbags was in the days before last year’s Hurricane Irene.

“Last year it was everywhere,” Grant said of the hurricane. “The flooding we have seen this week has been really localized.”

DC Water spokesman Alan Heymann said that “because of the reports we’ve been receiving from the Bloomingdale neighborhood, we’re taking this very seriously.”

Coincidentally, the first flood of the day popped up in Metro’s Mount Vernon Square station, but it was unrelated to the weather. Apparently maintenance workers accidentally tripped a fire alarm, triggering the station’s sprinklers.

In a month of unpredictable weather, DPW’s Grant set low standards for the evening’s weather: “We’re just hoping that these rains are not as serious as they’ve been over the past several days.”

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