The lunch crowd arrived at a trickle Thursday as this week’s steady slog of storms continued to pour over the Washington region.
Usually, the line of food trucks at Franklin Square stretches the length of the park, with trucks surrounded by clusters of customers awaiting their food. But on Thursday, the Chatpat truck was alone.
“You’re the only ones who felt like braving the rain, huh?” asked a tall man in a reflective worker’s vest.
The manager of the Indian-food truck, Harriti Shah, 34, smiled as she greeted him through the vehicle’s window.
“Guess so,” she said.
Thursday was the sixth straight day of measurable rainfall in the D.C. area. More than 3.5 inches of rain had accumulated since last week, according to The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang, with some areas northwest of the city seeing up to 10 inches.
But it’s not all bad. Frederick students can sleep a bit later Friday morning, as schools will open two hours later in the county.
The rainfall disrupted sporting events, reading groups and performances, and put a general damper on the daily tasks and rituals of Washingtonians, who largely greeted the continued onslaught of rain with a shrug of resignation.
“This rain is bananas. I’m ready for it to stop,” said Patrice Avila, 27, a network technician who commutes to the District from Salisbury, Md. “The traffic gets so much worse when the weather is bad. I’m not a fan.”
Flood watches and warnings issued Thursday will remain in effect through Saturday morning. Forecasters predicted an additional 3 to 5 inches of rain would drench the area in that time.
Farther north of Washington, the situation remained dire.
Still reeling from flooding earlier in the week, Frederick warned residents to refrain from using water for activities such as washing clothes or taking showers, lest the city’s wastewater treatment facility overflow.
“Anything that people can avoid doing that uses water that causes the water to go back into the water system, if they could not do it, that would be great,” said Patti Mullins, spokeswoman for the city of Frederick.
If the wastewater facility floods, the runoff would head into the Carroll Creek, which feeds the Monocacy River. Mullins said flooding wouldn’t affect the quality of drinking water, which remains safe, but it’s “not ideal” to have untreated wastewater flowing into the creek.
The Monocacy River was nearly overflowing Thursday and was expected to crest by Saturday at 17.7 feet. Once the water level passes 17 feet, the National Weather Service said, severe flooding would likely cause road closures..
A coastal flood watch was posted in the District, Alexandria and Arlington, and the Weather Service warned that rain would have the “potential to significantly raise tide levels above normal by several feet.”
In Fairfax County, Chain Bridge Road was closed near the Arlington County line because of a fallen tree and wires. Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department crews rescued a driver Thursday whose vehicle got stuck in an attempt to cross a flooded patch of Woodburn Road. In a posting to social media, Fairfax fire officials used a pointed hashtag: #TurnAroundDoNotDrown.
“Visibility is bad,” said Devin Walker, 28, a FedEx worker from Arlington. “People don’t know how to drive in storms. It’s just more dangerous for everyone. I have to do my job, but if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be out there.”
The D.C. Bocce League, which runs games and tournaments around the region, said it canceled nearly every game this week.
“Most of our games are in parks and the parks are all so full of mud and water it’s impossible to play in that,” said Sarah DeLucas, president of the D.C. Bocce League. “We’re just ready for this epic, never-ending week of rain to be done.”
The wet weather will continue through Tuesday or Wednesday next week, according to the Capital Weather Gang. But the rain will let up a bit by the weekend — showers won’t be as frequent or wide-reaching.
Still, some said they’ve enjoyed the stint of sogginess.
“I love it,” carpenter Freddie Diaz, 66, said in Spanish, gesturing to raindrops falling around him. “When it rains it’s not hot, and when it’s not hot, it’s easier to do my job.”
Standing in the Chatpat food truck, taking in the view of the wet and empty park, Shah said the weather may have taken a toll on business, but she’s not eager for the rain to stop.
“I love spring rain, the way it cools everything down,” she said. “Usually around this time of year, we’re baking in here. It gets insanely hot in the truck. So, I’m good with the rain. It’s all working out just fine for me.”