Staff at the District Dogs on Rhode Island Avenue in Northeast and D.C. emergency services saved 20 dogs on Aug. 14 after heavy rains caused flood waters to rise up to six feet outside the building’s doors, D.C. Fire Chief John Donnelly said. An official from the Humane Rescue Alliance said that 10 dogs drowned in the disaster, according to reporting from The Washington Post.
“It’s a terrible thing,” Donnelly said to reporters outside the building following the flood. “Unbearable.”
The location, which sits at a low point directly beneath a Metro overpass, consistently experiences flooding during heavy rainfall. District Dogs saw a similar event in August last year, where owner Jacob Hensley filmed water rising outside the glass door and seeping in beneath flood bags.
DC Water says the Northeast Boundary Tunnel, which will run about 1.5 miles underneath Rhode Island Avenue from 6th St NW to almost 10th St NE, will help alleviate the issue by creating more space underground for excess water. Construction is scheduled to be completed in September.
The Aug. 14 flash floods also stranded commuters in high water across the DMV. District emergency responders continue to remind drivers, bikers and walkers not to go through flood waters, even if they seem shallow — turn around, don’t drown.
Our area has seen multiple severe weather events and flash floods since the end of July, including the July 29 storm that toppled massive trees throughout the region and caused over 200,000 power outages. Climate change impacts the intensity of severe rainfall events, making it likely that the District will see increased flooding as the planet warms in the coming years.