Residents in the Maryland and Virginia suburbs spent much of yesterday recovering from a summer storm that dumped almost four inches of rain in some parts of the Washington area late Tuesday night and early yesterday.
June storms are fairly common, coming about every four days, according to a spokesman for the National Weather Service. But they usually produce no more than 1 1/2 inches of rain.
Fairfax County received the most rain, the weather service said, and the Fairfax County Fire Department received 162 telephone calls after the rain began around 8 p.m. That included 62 fire calls, more than twice the number that normally come in overnight, fire officials said. About half of the 162 calls were weather-related. About 10 homes were struck by lightning, incurring mostly minor damage.
The Fairfax County home that received the most damage, however, was not struck by lightning.
The lights went out at the home of Thomas Moskey, 39, of 1922 Anderson Rd., in the Dunn Loring area, due to a power outage that affected 17,000 other Fairfax residents. As Moskey tried to light a Coleman lantern in his small, one-story home, fumes caused the pilot light from his water heater to ignite, fire officials said, resulting in $10,000 damage to his kitchen. Moskey suffered first and second degree burns on his hands, feet and back, officials said.
The Virginia Department of Highways and Transportation started receiving reports of high water in Arlington after 9 p.m., particularly on Rte. 110 alongside Arlington Cemetery at the Memorial Bridge overpass, and on I-395 at Washington Boulevard and Columbia Pike.
Water along that stretch of Rte. 110 rose to three feet in a matter of minutes at about midnight, county police said, largely because of poor drainage. Drainage is particularly important when an area has had a lot of rain, officials said. So far this year, the Washington area has received 28 inches of rain, the weather service said, or more than 10 inches more than this time last year.
The storm hit Maryland hardest in Montgomery County, where it sparked three fires, fire officials said.
Lightning did $80,000 damage to the Homewood Recreation Center, 2929 Edgewood Rd., in Kensington, nearly destroying the building. The Maryland National Capitol Park and Planning Commission, which runs the center, will probably have to cancel its summer children's program along with several wedding receptions, reunions and picnics, a clerk said.
A home at 8900 Bradford Rd., Silver Spring, had $2,500 worth of damage to its roof and a home at 41 Philadelphia Ave. in Takoma Park incurred $500 damage.
A total of 3,200 homes reported power off during a three-hour period in the Pepco service area of Maryland, mostly in Takoma Park.
The District's most severe incident occurred on Davenport Street near Linnean Avenue NW, where heavy rains caused the road to cave in, resulting in a hole 20 feet deep and 20 feet wide. No one was injured. District officials have not determined what caused the road to cave in, but said that often, such collapses happen when the ground underneath the pavement is already soft from previous rain.
District police are looking for the owner of a Pinto found floating in Rock Creek near Beach Drive early yesterday morning. Beach Drive was closed between Broad Branch and Joyce roads from Tuesday night until after yesterday's morning rush hour.
There is a 30 percent chance of more rain today, the weather service said.