Photos: Four Mile Run Flooding in Arlington

by ARLnow.com September 9, 2011 at 10:00 am 9,892 25 Comments

Despite dozens of flooded basements and a couple of thousand Dominion customers without power, Arlington was largely spared the flooded roads and swift water rescues that took place elsewhere in Northern Virginia.

In fact, Arlington firefighters were able to help out neighboring jurisdictions like Falls Church, Fairfax County and Alexandria during the worst of flooding last night.

That’s not to say, however, that there was no flooding in Arlington. These photos, many of which were taken along Four Mile Run and the W&OD Trail, show just how bad things got.

Photos courtesy Brendan L. and Anonymous

  • Great pics.

  • beautiful photos!

  • CW

    What about that other Run?

    • Ignored once again, although folks are welcome to post other photos in the comments.

      • Tre

        I believe this photo of D-Run was taken about 5 minutes ago:

        • Richard Cranium

          It’s the aftermath. Here is last night, in the midst everything.

          • Tre

            I believe Arlington has proposed a $700 million glass dome to be constructed over Donaldson Run which they referred to as “the neighborhood of the future”.

      • brian

        is it really flooding when it is in the 4 mile run part?

        that’s where the water belongs. hardly flooding.

    • CrystalMikey

      7 minutes, is that a new record?

  • sal

    trying to figure out where #5 is exactly – such a cool image

    • CW

      Arlington Blvd? Columbia Pike?

      • drax

        George Mason? Just downstream of #6.

    • bobco85

      It looks like it’s taken from the pedestrian bridge over Four Mile Run in Shirlington, looking west towards S. Arlington Mill Dr. near the Arlington Public Library (Shirlington Branch). In the bottom left corner of the image, there’s a bit of the bridge railing that reflected some of the flash from the camera that’s giving a slight glow.

    • G

      Looks like S George Mason Dr., Brittany Condo parking lot just before intersection with S Four Mile Run Dr.

      • G

        Actually I am referring to #6. I forgot the big photo is #1.

    • T

      It is looking southeast towards S. George Mason, like G says.

  • Bender

    Yeah, you better be REAL CAREFUL going down to Four Mile Run to take pictures.

    A few years ago, a couple of guys decided to go down to Four Mile Run in front of my house during a heavy rain. The rescue squad was able to pull one guy out of the water alive. They pulled the other guy’s dead body out a half-mile down.

  • JammingEcono

    At least a dozen homes in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood near the intersection of S. Troy Street and S. Glebe Road got their basements flooded with sewer water due to the rain last night. Lovely.

    There was apparently one or more folks from Arlington County Office of Risk Management (had never heard of them before) handing out flyers in the affected area giving residents information about filing claims with the County for damage. Does anyone know how this process works?

    • CW

      No, but the Arlington OEM is responsible for all of those completely ridiculous ads in the metro stations. You know, one of the guy with man-boobs wearing goggles and holding a plunger, the man with the dead gutted turkey over his head, etc.

    • narl

      This happened to me in June 2006 — water coming up out of the sewers into my basement — and we got no help from the county whatsoever. They came, they clucked, they took pictures, they gave us forms, they listened to our stories about how there had never been problems before they rerouted sewer lines from a much larger road down our little culdesac — and nothing, nada, just a letter much later saying basically that mother nature was responsible.

  • JammingEcono

    FWIW, I spoke with County’s Office of Risk Management (ORM) and affected residents can file claims with that office if they have flood/sewer backup damage. They forward the claims on the to County’s third-party claims administrator, PMA. Here is the info we circulated on the Long Branch Creek Civic Association list serv re: recommended steps for folks who have damage:

    1) Try to mitigate the damage to prevent additional damage from standing water. If you can clean up the water safely, do so as best you can. A water cleanup/damage restoration company like Servpro can help with this process.

    FYI, Servpro has tips on how to clean up from flooding here:

    2) Contact your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance company to report the damage.

    3) To the extent that it can be done SAFELY, take photos of any damage caused by the flooding/sewer backup.

    4) Hang on to any receipts for clean-up costs.

    5) Either on your own or via your insurance adjuster, contact Arlington County Office of Risk Management to report a claim. They will forward the claim on to PMA, the County’s third-party claims administrator for investigation. Arlington County CANNOT guarantee that a claim will be accepted.

    Here is contact information for the woman at ORM that can get the claims process started:

    Karen Hill
    Arlington County Office of Risk Management
    Phone: 703-228-4444
    E-mail: [email protected]

    When you contact ORM, you should be prepared to give them your full name, exact address, daytime and evening/mobile phone numbers, homeowner’s/renter’s insurance information and a description of the damage.

    Karen cautioned me that her office has a very small staff. Therefore, folks should not expect the claims process to happen quickly. Fair warning!

  • David Oaks

    Dear JammingEcono,

    I must caution others not to get their hopes up with that old line about “Arlington County Office of Risk Management will forward the claim on to PMA, the County’s third-party claims administrator for investigation.” PMA is not independent–they are under contract with Arlington County whom they owe their allegience to–and will promptly claim that the County has “Soverign Immunity” and tell you you’re outta luck.

    I know this from personal experience: this County has twice (TWICE!) flooded our basement with raw sewage due to lack of proper maintenance of the sewer system, completely unrelated to a storm surge…and the County, through PMA, told us “not our problem/soverign immunity” both times. Oh, and of course they don’t miss an opportunity to raise both our property taxes and sewage/water fees each year. In my opinion, they couldn’t care less about your problems.

    I wish you luck with your recovery efforts, you’ll need it dealing with Arlignton County.

    • JammingEcono

      Most people don’t have the sewage backup rider on their homeowner’s/renter’s insurance policies, so it doesn’t hurt to see if the County can help out. Aside from the time commitment, I don’t see that there’s any downside in at least trying to go the County route. The worst they can say is nyet.

  • AnnaB

    I have a question, maybe someone here knows the answer. During the worst of the rain last night, I was outside trying to clear my outside drains. One of them was working well as long as I kept debris off it. The other was doing nothing at all, no drainage, just standing water. It is draining today, however.

    Like many homes in Arlington, this one was built in the late 1930s along with a large number of similar houses in the neighborhood. Does anyone know if the county has a map somewhere that would identify where sewer lines are within the property? I’m wondering whether my second drain is actually connected to the system (in which case I think it needs to be cleared out) or if it just goes into the ground. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • Long Branch

      AnnaB and JammingEcono–Do you guys have more info on the Long Branch Creek area? Does it flood, basements fill, etc. often?


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