Drivers in the Washington area faced delays Monday morning after heavy rain forced the closure of commuter routes.
Much of the region received more than two inches of rain, according to weather forecasters. At times, rainfall rates were up to an inch an hour as the storm moved through in the early hours of the day, making some roadways impassable.
Parts of Arlington County and Potomac, Md., received more than three inches of rain, according to The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang.
The National Weather Service said two inches fell at Reagan National Airport, while about 1½ inches was recorded at both Baltimore-Washington International Marshall and Dulles International airports.
In Northern Virginia, parts of Interstate 395 were flooded and closed at times during the morning commute. HOV lanes became flooded near Edsall Road, and traffic was diverted to the highway’s main lanes.
Martine Voltaire, who lives near Lorton, spent more than two hours trying to get to the District via I-95 and I-395 but gave up and worked from home. She sent an apology note to her children’s day care and schools in the District about their absences.
She said each exit along the highway was congested, and she wished that transportation officials would have sent more alerts warning about the delays. It took her two hours to get to Springfield — a 10-minute drive under ideal conditions.
“It was rainy and people were cranky,” she said. “We were barely going 4 mph for a two-mile stretch on 95.”
Her commute is normally about 45 minutes in the HOV lanes of I-95 and I-395. On Monday, she left home at 7:15 a.m. and returned at 9:45 a.m.
Elsewhere in Virginia, lanes of I-66 in both directions near the Spout Run Parkway interchange were closed for more than an hour because of flooding; they reopened before 7 a.m. Along I-66 inside the Capital Beltway, solo drivers encountered high tolls to use express lanes during the morning rush. Before 8:30 a.m., the toll reached $47 — 50 cents shy of a record.
Pricing is based on traffic volumes and speeds. The price changes every six minutes, and transportation experts say the tolls are meant to encourage drivers to carpool — and use the lanes at no cost with an E-ZPass Flex transponder — or use mass transit.
In Montgomery County, parts of the Beltway’s inner loop near River Road were closed at times because of high water. Many roadways in parts of the county, including in Rockville, Potomac, Silver Spring and Olney, flooded as storms moved through.
Crews rescued one person from a vehicle in high water near Beach Drive and Stanhope Road in Kensington. Officials said the person was not seriously hurt.
In the District, an area near Arizona Avenue and Canal Road in Northwest had standing water. Part of I-295 also was closed because of water on the highway.
Transportation officials warned drivers to allow extra time and not to proceed through flooded areas. There were no reports of serious injuries.
Emergency text message alerts were sent after 3 a.m., surprising those who were sleeping as a flash-flood warning was issued primarily for the western, then northern, suburbs.
By midmorning, most D.C.-area roads had reopened, but many commuters spent extra time navigating.
In parts of central and southern Virginia, high wind damaged homes, caused vehicles to flip and downed power lines. The Weather Service was assessing the damage and determining whether a tornado struck the Lynchburg area.