When you open the car door at the Great Falls parking lot and immediately hear a loud roar, then you know the Potomac River is flowing mighty fast. That was the case Wednesday afternoon as the runoff from Hurricane Sandy’s heavy rain flowed over Great Falls into Mather Gorge.

As I approached the first overlook at Great Falls on the Virginia side of the river, spray filled the air. Moments after I arrived, the sun briefly broke through the thick cloud cover and put down a nice spot light on the falls and the surrounding area. I quickly photographed and took a few videos before the clouds moved back and blocked out the sun.

Read below to see a few still photos of the Great Falls

I was surprised at the numerous fall colors that still painted the landscape around Great Falls. Apparently, Sandy left many of the trees and leaves undisturbed. What is left of the fall foliage will be gone soon, however, much like the floodwaters of Sandy.

A wide view of Great Falls Wednesday afternoon, October 31, 2012. A larger view of this photo can be found here. (Kevin Ambrose)