Sewage-Infested Flood Forces Evacuation

Car Damaged in a Ditch
Greg Hayes from Salt Lake City, Officer of Naval Intelligence, was surprized when he found his rental car in the ditch 100 feet away from where it was parked (at the parking lot of Court Yard Marriot Hotel) in the morning after a powerful thunterstorm. (Alexey Tolchinsky --
By Debbi Wilgoren
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, June 26, 2006; 10:52 AM

Dozens of residents were evacuated from their homes in the Huntington section of Fairfax County early this morning when the swollen waters of Cameron Run roared over its banks and onto their quiet residential street.

Geoff Livingston, 34, said he heard a commotion outside his duplex in the 2200 block of Arlington Terrace and saw that "the street had turned into a river," with surges up to seven feet deep carrying parked cars down the road.

Sewage-infested water "broke through the windows in the basement and just flooded everything," Livingston said. He and his wife Caitlin, 35, grabbed computers and other valuables and ran upstairs, where they remained until police showed up about 2 a.m. and advised them to leave.

At that point, "we loaded up our cats in their carriers, grabbed our laptops and some clothes, and walked," Livingston said.

Fairfax County emergency workers said the evacuation was voluntary and involved about 50 homes. Evacuees were directed to the nearby Huntington Metro station, where they sat in the bus shelters.

Some, including the Livingtons, telephoned friends and found places they could stay. Others eventually ended up at an emergency shelter that county officials and the Red Cross set up at Edison High School, 5801 Franconia Road.

Jeremy Lasich, of the Fairfax County emergency operations center, said about 20 families had sought refuge at the shelter as of mid-morning.

The flooding was in the same area where torrential rains caused a mudslide that forced the closure of the Capital Beltway near Telegraph Road early this morning.

Normally, Livingston said, Cameron Run flows about 150 yards from Arlington Terrace.

He said the basement of his duplex, from which he operates his newly launched public relations business, had filled with 16 feet of water -- "all the way up to the very last step."

© 2006 The Washington Post Company