WEATHER

D.C. flooding: D.C. area recovering from floods

Comment
Decrease Increase Text size

Pounding rains in the D.C region flooded roads, left businesses and homes waterlogged and is being blamed for three deaths in Virginia, including the drowning of a 12-year-old boy.

Jack Donaldson, 12, was killed during the flooding.

Trailer homes were shredded and ripped off their foundations in Woodbridge, some even landing on cars, other cars landing in the river.

Residents have to gather what they can evacuate Friday night. Almost every home in two Woodridge trailer parks has been condemned. It is nearly impossible to find a home without severe damage.

"Because you're not on top of the water, you never think something like this is going to happen to you," said Brenda Sigmon.

Down the street, the auto repair shop Buddy Sigmon has owned for 26 years was obliterated in less than two hours. The water rose above the door to his now-ravaged office.

"It's my life,” Brenda Sigmon said. She plans to “try to rebuild it keep going."

James Price moved to Upper Marlboro with his parents in 1976. He worked for Giant supermarkets for 18 years, saving up, for the computer business he opened in 1999.

The flood took 75 percent of it. Like Price, businesses up and down Marlboro Pike set out on a long road to recovery.

“It's devastating. Devastating to say the least,” said Tokoebe Lionels who works as a personal trainer. The gym was just renovated a month ago. Now it’s unclear when it will reopen as computers, carpets and weight machines are ruined.

As the day drew to a close, Price said even the most successful suffer setbacks. It's those who dust themselves off, or dry themselves off, who make it.

“We just had a call from a customer who wants to bring in his computer tomorrow. So things are still looking up,” Price said.

About 160 homes in Huntington in Alexandria are without gas and electricity as crews with fire marshals and building inspectors go door to door. Gov. Bob McDonnell has declared a state of emergency in response to flooding triggered by rains from Tropical Storm Lee's remnants.

Jack Donaldson, 12, was out at the height of yesterday's storm with friends when they stepped into Piney Branch creek and the rapidly rising waters swept him away.

A small, white wooden cross marks the place where his life came to an end.

Olivia Herbold was bringing the Donaldson family a handmade card as she grieved the loss of her friend on Friday.

“He was probably one of the nicest boys I've ever met,” Herbold said. “I'm still in shock right now and he's definitely in heaven.”

The young boy attended Dominion Christian school and went to church at Vienna Presbyterian Church.

He was a Boy Scout and a Big Brother who wanted only to play with friends in the rain.

An eyewitness says the creek that Donaldson knew well rose quickly from his ankles to his shoulders and then he was gone.

Vienna residents say yesterday's storm brought with it dangerous conditions.

Arsalan Hakiri, 67, of Reston, was swept away along with his car and drowned when he tried to leave the vehicle, police said. Galo Sebastian Salvador Vinueza, 25, of Lorton, died from apparent drowning due to flooding, according to police.

On Wednesday, Daniel Lambert, 49, of Pasadena, Md., died in flood waters.

Strayer University professor Afraa al-Yaharani watched with horror last night as flood waters rose dangerously close to her second floor classroom. Students and faculty were trapped for at least three hours until rescue crews could help them.

in the aftermath Friday, students and faculty are relieved that the only casualty from the flooding were these cars. Witnesses say they looked like floating ducks last night.

At least a dozen homes so far in Huntington have red stickers stating "unsafe for occupancy" after flash flooding hit the area Thursday night.

Many in the area are angry that they've had property ruined for the second time in five years.

Titus Boyd says he scrambled to get his 87-year-old parents out of their home on Arlington Terrace as waters burst through basement windows and doors.

"We ran for our lives,” Boyd said. "Just like in June of 2006.”

Many in this community believe Barcroft Dam was opened but Fairfax County Broad of Supervisors Chair, Sharon Bulova said, "that didn't happen, that would never happen. We would never intentionally flood a community.”

After the 2006 flood in Huntington, the Army Corps of Engineers studied the cause for that disaster.

It was recommended that a levee be built and a flood zone be declared.

While Huntington is now considered a flood zone, the cost of building a levee has hampered that option.

Would you like to contribute to this story? Join the discussion.

Recommended For You
comments powered by Disqus