In the most recent statement from the National Weather Service, residents living along the Potomac were warned that the river would be at levels of moderate flooding through Thursday afternoon as a result of Hurricane Sandy. On Tuesday night, the highest water level recorded was 7.6 feet in Georgetown and is expected to rise about another foot today. This is below the threshold for major flooding of 10 feet.
Originally, there had been fears of major flooding that could last into Friday but the risk has decreased since then. Flood banks were placed along the Washington Harbor in hopes of avoiding massive flooding of the area as occurred in April of 2011.
However, the floods still pose a risk because the waters overflowing into communities will carry approximately 240 million gallons of raw sewage according to The Washington Post. D.C. has designed its sewage system so that at times of heavy rainfall, sewage will flow directly into waterways. As a result, the water will be dangerous to touch for several days.
According to an article in the Georgetown Patch, most businesses along the harbor were open Tuesday afternoon although some remained closed as a precaution. Tony and Joe’s, a restaurant along the waterfront, was one such restaurant that was closed due to minor water leakage from the storm. They hoped to be back up and running by the weekend.
Photo of Potomac by Armando Trullo of American University Radio