Flood waters rage in Arlington on July 8. (Hope Hodge Seck/@hopeseck/Twitter/Reuters)

On July 8, Arlington suffered extreme flash flooding. Arlington and the District experienced extreme flooding in June 2006. Consider the 2016 and 2018 flood catastrophes in Ellicott City.

Such floods should not be a surprise. Climate models predict more frequent and greater-magnitude flooding. Weather data show this is happening in the United States and much of the rest of the world.

While it is difficult for a local jurisdiction to directly counter climate change, the other key factor could more readily be addressed. Arlington continues to reduce its mature tree canopy and increase the extent of impervious surfaces — pavement, rooftops and other infrastructure. Without trees to intercept torrential rainfall, and with ever-shrinking green areas to soak up water, little wonder we are seeing terrible floods. And it will get worse. Everyone who removes trees and adds more hard surface is contributing to the problem.

Steve Young, Arlington

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