According to the Capital Weather Gang, more than five inches of rain fell in the District last week. The average rainfall for the entire month of May? 3.99 inches. On six consecutive days, we received at least .4 inches of rain. That lengthy stretch with so much rain is a record.
And that report covers only the week until Friday. By the time the rain stopped and the sun emerged Sunday, Marjorie Rachlin’s rain gauge measured 6.5 inches. (And here’s an update with the official tally through Saturday: eight straight days of rain, a record seven days with at least .4 inches logged, 6.14 inches in total.)
Our local streams are at capacity – and then some. I went out Thursday, Friday and Saturday to take a look.
Around here, most of the water streaming down sidewalks and roadways ends up in Soapstone or Broad Branch Streams, which then empty into Rock Creek.
Storm drains at Linnean Avenue and Tilden Street direct water underground directly into Rock Creek Park.
On Thursday, May 17th, Soapstone Creek was a torrent, with impassable crossings due to the volume and strength of the rushing water. Water was coming from makeshift streamlets and storm drains.
It appeared that Soapstone did not jump over onto Broad Branch Road though the level of the water was almost at the top point of the culvert on the Broad Branch Stream side.
The Broad Branch roadbed looked like it is taking a beating between Brandywine Street and the Soapstone Creek culvert. The creek is closest to the roadway here.
The daylighted section of Broad Branch Stream to the east and west of Linnean Avenue was full of water. The west side ponds had flooded into each other. It looked like a wetlands area. It was the fullest I had seen them in quite a while.
The flow of stormwater is slowed here, by design, to combat erosion and filter pollutants before they reach Rock Creek. And they will continue to be put to the test. There are thunderstorms predicted for the coming week, and also more flooding.