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Area Preps For Heavy Rains, Possible Flooding

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Residents and businesses worried about flooding in Alexandria can pick up sandbags at the corner of King and Lee streets.
Jonathan Wilson
Residents and businesses worried about flooding in Alexandria can pick up sandbags at the corner of King and Lee streets.

Flooding is unfortunately pretty routine in Alexandria, and in anticipation of Wednesday night's storm the city made sandbags available to anyone who needed them Wednesday afternoon.

Tony Castrilli is the city's communications director -- he says the worst period of flooding will probably be a little after 11 a.m., when the Potomac River hits high tide.

"Due to the timing, the amount of rain, and the winds, we're expecting moderate flooding in Old Town Alexandria, but not expecting any flooding throughout the rest of the city," Castrilli says.

Alexandria resident Kim Reyes was one of the first to pick up a few sandbags.

She says her basement flooded over the weekend, and she's worried these rains will be worse.

"We're on Spring Street, so supposedly we have a spring under our house, which doesn't help," Reyes says.

In Fairfax and Prince William Counties, a bigger concern is drivers trying to force their way through standing water -- the respective emergency services departments are also urging residents in low-lying areas to move parked vehicles to higher ground, and to clear out basements prone to flooding.

The Maryland Emergency Management officials are urging motorists to be informed and they're advising that they check weather and traffic reports before traveling.

Maryland Natural Resources Police are also asking people to avoid boating and other recreational uses of the Upper Potomac River and its creeks and streams. The boating advisory is in effect until Friday.

The District is offering sandbags to residents at its Public Works Office in Southeast at New Jersey Avenue and K Street. Each bag weighs between 40 and 50 pounds.

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