Heavy Rainfall and Flood Watch

March 9, 2011 (11:50 a.m.)

The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Watch as well as a Flood Watch for our area, from this evening through Thursday evening.

Periods of moderate to heavy rain will move into the region ahead of a cold front this evening into Thursday. By the time the front clears the area Thursday night, up to 3 inches of rain is possible. A tidal anomaly of 2-3 feet above normal also is possible.

The forecasted rainfall amounts likely will cause flooding of low lying areas, as well as cause small streams and creeks to rise out of their banks. The runoff would then create significant rises in area rivers.

A flood watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts. Residents should monitor later forecasts and be alert for possible flood warnings. Those living in areas prone to flooding should be prepared to take action should flooding develop, including precautionary steps such as moving vehicles to higher ground, moving important items off basement floors, etc..

This rain, combined with already saturated ground, will bring the risk of flooding to streams, creeks and low-lying areas. This may cause many secondary roadways to become impassable. Motorists are reminded that if you find yourself driving in potential flash flood conditions, never drive through standing water on a roadway. Water may be much deeper than you think, causing your car to stall or even get stuck in hidden debris.

Remember, if there is any possibility of a flash flood:

· Move immediately to higher ground.

· Do not wait for instructions to move.

· Be aware of streams, drainage channels and other areas known to flood suddenly.

· Flash floods can occur in these areas with or without such typical warnings as rain clouds or heavy rain.

Fairfax County public works, emergency management and public safety personnel are monitoring the weather and will continue to do so through the evening and overnight and will alert residents should any additional information become available or actions necessary.

Flooding Information and Links


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