From the ABC 7 Weather team

Flooding in Georgetown's Washington Harbour (PHOTOS)

April 18, 2011 - 01:45 PM
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Georgetown is the new Venice as a flooding Potomac pours in, unimpeded by flood walls.

12 Photos
(Photo: Alex Greenlee/TBD | Date: Apr. 18, 2011)

Tides and flooding: These are things that people can predict with relative ease. So why didn't the flood walls at Georgetown's Washington Harbour prevent the watery wonderland that you see in these photos?

"That's the million-dollar question right now," says Bill Starrels, an advisory neighborhood commissioner for Georgetown. "I was down at the harbor last night after the Nats game, and I did not see the flood walls up. The water last night around 8:30 was high enough that you couldn't see boardwalk. It was completely underwater."

Starrels says he heard from one of his sources that "they were having trouble with the flood walls this morning." Georgetown University's Hoya speculates that a "levee" broke, letting in the dirty brown water. (Here's DCist's photo gallery of the District's tony new swimming hole.) I have a call out to MRP Realty, the company responsible for the harbor's operations, and will update when they provide an answer.

A coastal flood warning stands until midnight tonight, with the next high tide on the Potomac occurring at 9:13 p.m at Washington Channel and 9:31 p.m. in Alexandria. The rains of the next couple days could exacerbate the problem. While we wait for the distended rivers to recede, dig these Potomac flood facts from ABC7's number-cruncher cyborg, Bob Ryan:

• The Potomac is flowing now at 1.3 million gallons per second

• The average flow over Niagara Falls is 750,000 gallons per second. The Potomac is currently almost twice that amount at Great Falls

• Today's 24-hour water flow in the Potomac would be enough for about 20 gallons of water for every man, woman and child on earth

• As high as the Potomac's afternoon peak is today, it's still about 8 feet below the historic 1996 crest

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