by Marlene Berlin
During a walk with a friend early Sunday, we could see Rock Creek glistening ahead of us as we walked down Upton Street. We decided to take a detour from our usual route to see high the creek was. The night before, as a dramatic thunderstorm rolled through, I received an alert on my cellphone warning of potential flash flooding in the neighborhood. This would have meant Broad Branch Creek and Rock Creek.
We got a good view of the creek near Peirce Mill. The water was high but not flowing over the banks. And there appeared to be no damage.
It was a different story on land.
We walked back up the hill to Linnean Avenue and headed toward Connecticut Avenue on Upton. We soon came upon a truck with a crane removing a tree which had come down on the roof of the house. The owner was out with his young daughter and said that everything was okay other than the roof being smashed in. There was not much water damage.
ANC 3F Commissioner Sally Gresham and her neighbors were also dealing with fallout from a fallen tree. I returned home to an email with photos of her street, the 3200 block of Davenport. They hadn’t had power since 4 a.m.
“Major electrical surge from downed tree on rear property of 4801 Conn Ave Apt house taking out all power on 3200 block of Davenport, damaging cars and frying some of my neighbor’s house’s electrical panels completely,” said Sally’s email.
“Pepco on scene and I am working with MPD to get 8 cars towed that are blocking necessary emergency tree removal and pole replacement. We have no power and Ed, Pepco’s supervisor, estimates completion late tonight. Should be a hot fun day!”
I looked at Pepco’s outage map and found that Sally’s block was the only block in Upper Northwest still suffering an outage, affecting 16 households. Pepco did say it would be fixed by 6 p.m., and a later check of the outage map indicates power was restored around that time. So I hope that by now, Sally and her neighbors have their power back on and are enjoying their air conditioning.
My friend Marjorie Rachlin told me that according to her rain gauge, we had gotten two inches. That is a lot of water in a short period of time. No wonder we had flash flooding warnings.
I wonder if the flood warning lights at the Soapstone culvert on Broad Branch Road were blinking. I’d also like to know why these lights are not at the intersections of Broad Branch and Beach Drive, and Broad Branch and Brandywine Street. This would give drivers a chance to get off the road before they reach the affected areas. Anybody know?