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DC downpour causes flooding in White House basement
Heavy rainstorms dumped more than three inches of rain in an hour on Washington, D.C. Monday morning, causing dangerous flash floods, stranding commuters, and caused flooding in the basement of the White House. The devastating downpour was a once-in-100-years weather event, according to the National Weather Service.
The flooding at the White House occurred under the West Wing where the press corps works on covering stories about President Donald Trump and other White House happenings. Word about the flooding quickly spread across Twitter.
CNBC Trump correspondent Eamon Javers tweeted: “It’s official: The White House Basement is flooding.”
It’s official: The White House basement is flooding. pic.twitter.com/f1DR6awE89
— Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) July 8, 2019
Javers then followed up with a more tongue-in-cheek update: “Swamp draining in progress. WH leaks appear contained. Press pool dry.” A photo showed a shop vacuum and drying carpet. Others noted that the White House was “literally leaking” on the media.
Flooding caused major problems
Besides D.C., heavy rain also fell on parts of Virginia and Maryland, with Frederick, Maryland receiving more than six inches of rain in about two hours.
Flooding also caused power outages at the National Archives, which remains closed Tuesday while power is restored. The Archives assured the public that precious original documents including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights were safe.
Amtrak and DASH buses were also temporarily suspended due to water on tracks, roadways, and elevators, including the Pentagon Metro elevator.
Flooding in the swamp
Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff member and nuclear weapons expert Tom Moore reminded his Twitter followers that the D.C. area used to be an actual swamp, noting that “once in a while nature reminds you of it.”
It’s not the first time flooding has occurred at the White House during times of heavy rain and storms. This time, the ground was already saturated from six inches of rain over the previous week, leaving the rain from Monday’s torrential storm with nowhere to go.
The flooding didn’t deter Trump from attending a ceremony to credential new ambassadors, a lunch with Vice President Mike Pence, and a speech on America’s environmental leadership, which were all scheduled at the White House on Monday.
The situation resolved itself within a few hours of the storm’s passage, and life has largely gone back to normal in D.C. and at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
After all, Trump has spent the last two-and-a-half years draining the swamp in Washington, D.C. He’s an expert at this point.
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