Part of Mt. Vernon Trail Closed Due to Flooding

by ARLnow.com April 18, 2011 at 3:41 pm 4,347 29 Comments

Part of the Mt. Vernon Trail is closed between Roosevelt Island and the Humpback Bridge due to flooding.

The Potomac River is now covering a low-lying section of the trail. This afternoon ducks and debris could be seen floating where humans can usually be seen exercising.

The National Park Service has placed “trail closed” signs on either side of the flooded portion, but joggers and bicyclists are simply diverting to a narrow dirt path that runs dangerously close to the northbound GW Parkway, which has been the scene of two serious accidents in the past week.

Flooding along the banks of the Potomac has also forced evacuations in Georgetown and the rescue of a group of Boy Scouts near White’s Ferry. A tipster tells us the rescued Boy Scouts are from Arlington, but so far we’ve been unable to confirm that.

More photos after the jump.

  • MktCommon

    This photo made me laugh … not sure why. I guess because it just begs to have little empty balloons above each person ready for readers to fill in with something silly.

    • MktCommon

      The “lede” photo I mean!

    • Cyrus

      OK I’ll bite “yeah, see the large low slung building over there with 5 sides? That’s where the President lives”

    • madisonmanor

      How about “just think, if they moved the Artisphere over here to this part of Ft. Myer, at least they could FORCE people to go”

    • NOVApologist

      “Right over there is the Bank of America branch. Can you believe those [email protected] didn’t pay any taxes last year?!?!”

      • If you showed a net loss, would you expect to pay taxes on it?

        • mehoo

          Did they show a net loss?

    • OX4

      “I wish had advertisements splashed all over my spandex like that biker!”

    • borf

      For the duck photo:

      “It’s just water, people, get over it.”

  • charlie

    once again the bikers get the short end of the stick. why aren’t the CARS on the road that floods. let them detour.

  • biker

    The 4 Mile Run Trail was flooded by 4 Mile Run this morning at the point where it goes under Route 1. Don’t know what it’s like now.

    • CrystalMikey

      I just went through a run there, all dried up but plenty of driftwood and junk settled on the sidewalk.

  • R.Griffon
    • BoredHouseWife


    • Michael H.

      At first I was going to comment on the floodwalls not working, but it seems that someone forgot to put them in place! Someone’s going to be looking for a new job soon.

      • othersideoftheriver

        Yeah, probably the new property manager who balked at $8K/shot for a crane to raise the flood wall. $8K is a lot cheaper than a brand new Tony & Joe’s, Nick’s, Farmers & Fishers,not to mention two levels of flooded parking garage cars.

        • borf

          Plus the higher insurance premiums that are about to kick in for them.

  • Steve

    Wondering what kind of Boy Scout camps between a river and a canal right after a major storm. Not the kind you want helping folks to cross the road I guess.

    • BrownFlipFlops

      There’s no water in the canal up there. It’s just a ditch full of trees. I’ll step up and cut the middle-school-aged kids some slack. The campgrounds in the vicinity are all wide, flat areas bounded on one side by the river. When the bulge of water came down, it probably rose so fast there wasn’t a lot they could do.

      In most cases, the water doesn’t rise until a couple (or more) hours after the storm. It can be a mind-blowing experience to see how fast it happens. The kids will be alright – judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad (or lack of) judgement.

      • Steve

        It was the “chaperones” judgement I was wondering about. Avoiding flash flooding is a pretty basic concept:

        • BrownFlipFlops

          I’ll even give the adults who were shanghaied into leading the trip some slack for not being omniscient. Stuff happens.

  • The Noze Bros

    I rode that trail earlier today, and the ad-hoc trail isn’t really dangerously close to the Parkway. As long (1) no one tries to cross there, and (2) no cars catch fire nearby.

    • So riding four feet from a 45 mph freeway with no guardrail and a history of accidents is not dangerous?

      • CrystalMikey

        Try using the trail when it’s right next to Reagan. There are 2 spots where the official trail is literally right on the curb of the Parkway (underneath some overpasses).

        • LyonSteve

          This man speaks the truth. I haven’t been on the trail in a while, but before the humpback bridge re-construction, the trail turned into a narrow sidewalk right next to the roadway, with no barrier either.

          • Michael H.

            The old Humpback Bridge was a nightmare. So glad that they have rebuilt the bridge and trail. Just a couple more months before the new bridge is completely finished.

      • Safer than riding in the road….and I see bikers do it all the time (although not there).

      • metro

        Probably no difference from riding 15 feet from the GW parkway with no guard rails.

      • The Noze Bros

        As others above note, safety and danger are relative terms.

        At the point in question, certainly the ad-hoc trail is more dangerous than existing trail, 40 feet from the road and down a little incline. But I didn’t feel threatened along the ad-hoc trail (other than hoping I didn’t blow my tire, yeah Conti GP 4K tires!).

        The two links supplied talked about accidents where cars caught fire and people were crossing the road. Since I wasn’t crossing the road, and I believed the chances of there being a fire were low, I didn’t feel any danger from those two events.

        The question I asked myself was “what’s the likelihood of a car jumping the curb here?” Higher than one catching fire, but again I’ve biked and driven along that stretch thousands of times and have never seen that happen. So again, I thought it was a safe, not dangerous, activity.

        I’d rather of ridden along there then tried to cross the Parkway, even at a designated crosswalk.


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