WEATHER

Parts of Virginia under flash flood watches

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(WJLA, AP) - The showers that moved into the Washington region yesterday are expected to continue Wednesday, prompting flash flood watches issued in our area to be extended as Tropical Storm Lee heads north.

Crews work to raise the flood walls at the Georgetown Waterfront. (Photo: Philip Stewart)

A flash flood watch remains in effect through 11 p.m. Wednesday, and a coastal flood watch until 11 a.m. Friday, for the entire region. Montgomery County is under a flash flood warning until this evening.

The C & O Canal remains under a flood emergency, prompting its closure, after 2 to 4 inches of rain fell overnight. More showers are expected Wednesday.

After drenching the South, Hurricane Lee is now moving north and is expected to bring more heavy rain to some states. Flood warnings are in effect Wednesday and Thursday for much of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Flood watches have been issued for water-logged eastern New York. 

Crews were at the Georgetown waterfront raising the flood walls Tuesday morning in preparation of possible flooding as remnants of Tropical Storm Lee and a cold front moved into the region.

Officials were hoping to prevent a repeat of the flooding in April when the Potomac rose about 10 feet, flooding buildings along the Georgetown waterfront and the Washington Harbour when flood walls were left down.

"The restaurants are still shut down for renovation [from the April flooding], so I'm frankly surprised that they're not up so far," said Ben Sands, a District resident.

While Dominion Power crews worked outside their Powhatan Street home in McLean, Anne and Stanley Blouin made do the best they could.

"We're just hanging out, waiting for the power to come back on", Mr. Blouin says.

The Blouin's power, including their lights, went out around two Tuesday afternoon.

"Actually they went out and they came back for a flicker and went out again", says Anne Blouin.

The Blouins were among some 1500 Dominion Power customers in McLean, Arlington, and Falls Church who lost electricity--- not because of high winds--- but because of water-logged ground, and trees falling on power lines.

The utility says it happened at least three times Tuesday afternoon.

"We saw darkness, after two pops", says Arlington Resident Frank MacKeith.

He thought it was a transformer--- or two--- that blew on his block.

"More than frustrating. That's a lovely way of putting it, and there's not even a wind", he adds.

It wasn't just the suburbs. An enormous tree on Dana Street in the Palisades area of Northwest Washington, took out powerlines and caused 115 Pepco customers to lose power.

"We've seen pretty radical climate events over the past year, I guess', says Jim Severt, who lives in Georgetown.

Severt was strolling along the waterfront Tuesday night, checking out the height of the Potomac River, and observing the flood walls that were raised earlier in the day.

"Better safe than sorry", Severt says. "Water doesn't look to angry at the moment, but it can change pretty quickly down here", he adds.

Around the same time, at 37th and Calvert, firefighters were waiting on standby... dealing with yet another call of broken or damaged power lines.

"It isn't surprising, with the weather we've had lately", says Stanley Blouin.

With some candles... and some hand-held devices, he and his wife say they're doing just fine.

"We are adapting", says Anne Blouin. "We have an iPad, we have a candle, we have a lantern, and a cell phone, so we're good.

And, she says, she can deal with losing power, at least for awhile.

"It can be a lot worse. We could be in Texas with the fires. We could be in Vermont with the hurricane damage. This is okay."

And after a lights-on, light-off evening, the Blouin's power came back on shortly before ten o'clock Tuesday night.

Clean-up is already underway in Atlanta, where officials already confirmed three tornadoes.

"All that matters is we're alive," said Richard Darby, a homeowner in Canton, Ga. "We can fix all this up later. Long as we got our life, that's all that matters."

Areas of Louisiana and Mississippi that bore the brunt of Lee over the weekend were also digging out. Lee's center came ashore Sunday in Louisiana, dumping up to a foot of rain in parts of New Orleans and other areas. Despite some street flooding, officials said New Orleans' 24-pump flood control system was doing its job.

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