MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. - This weekend’s deluge will be one for the record books – pushing rainfall totals in some areas high enough to set all-time annual records.
For many people in the U.S., 2018 has already been the wettest year on record.
And as the numbers rise across the D.C. region, all of the rain is taking a toll – damaging roads, destroying homes, and claiming lives.
In the DMV, devastating floods rushed into Ellicott City – more than eight inches of rain pouring down in just two hours.
The flooding took the life of a Good Samaritan, destroyed the community’s historic Main Street, and stacked up cars like matchsticks.
“It was just like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Seeing cars toppled end over end down the street, it was pretty impressive,” said Lt. Peter Gillis of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Swift Water Rescue Team.
“The water environment is so dynamic, it can change in an instant and every scenario is different. So it’s very dangerous, probably one of the most dangerous parts of our job that we do,” Gillis added.
In July, D.C. was hit hard, with floods overwhelming Rock Creek Park.
In August, Lynchburg was evacuated.
In September and October, the remnants of Hurricanes Florence and Michael created havoc in the area.
Virginia’s Department of Emergency Management Reported that tropical storms killed 13 people across the state – making 2018’s hurricane season the deadliest in 15 years.
“Those calls where lives are lost and it could have been avoided, that’s definitely tragic,” Gillis said.
Baltimore has already marked its rainiest year on record; and D.C. is half an inch from surpassing its all time total.
Dulles is just four inches away from a record.
With a rainy weekend ahead, professionals are reminding people that if they see a flooded street, they need to “turn around, don’t drown,” and that they’re not just putting their own lives on the line, but those of first responders.