News and notes from Reston (tm).

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Good News! Next Floodmageddonpocalypse Won't Occur Until 2511

markdate.jpegThe folks at the National Weather Service got out their slide rules and, wedunno, fancy weather machines, and concluded that last Thursday's flooding was a "500-year rainfall." So mark your calendars for September 2511... which, coincidentally, may be almost exactly the same time that the first Pink Silver Mauve Line pulls into the particleboard wastelands of Loudoun County.

Of course, the Poindexters at NWS want to make sure that we understand that they're not being literal.

Return period doesn’t mean that we won’t see that kind of rain in those locations for several decades (or centuries). A 1 in 100 year rain means that there is a 1% chance of seeing that amount of rain in any given year. A 0.1% chance is true for a 1 in 1000 year event.
We stand by the 2511 completion date for the final phase of the Silver Line, though.

Meanwhile, someone -- let's call them Damp Throat -- tipped off the folks at the Washington Post that the Reston North Park Swim-and-Ride lot had a little bit of standing water, so the "news paper" got around to writing a story:
As I walked through the parking lot I noticed David Benson calmly sitting on his 1991 Cadillac Broughan, waiting for a tow truck. Benson was very fond of his Cadillac but expects it will be totalled. He has already started to search for a similar model.

As I spoke to Benson, he held his arm up as high as he could reach. “This is how high the water was over my car,” he said.

Benson plans to petition the Fairfax Board of Supervisors to replace the inadequate storm drain in the parking lot.

Benson also suggested that the runoff in the flooded parking lot was from the nearby Dulles Toll Road and the wide-spread development which surrounds the commuter lot in Reston. He said that pavement drains much faster than grass and the new Metro stop near Weihle Avenue will make this problem even worse.
The true tragedy, though?
I turned my focus from the waterlogged cars to photographing the flood-related debris and litter. It was everywhere. I work in Reston and I never see litter.
As I walked out of the parking lot back to my car I noticed a new pair of Mickey Mouse sunglasses, perfectly positioned on the top of a small debris pile which rested on the asphault.
Poignant. Lots of photos of water-on-car action at this link, if you're into such things. We especially enjoyed the "floating bug" found in the center console of a truck, the end.


  1. So if my Fairfax County Public Schools math skills don't fail me, we have a 0.5 percent chance of this kind of storm each year? Wow.

  2. Hmmmm. One hopes the Park-n-Ride'ers insurance companies will subrogate. Perhaps being burned for a few mil will teach the Fairfax supervisors a thing or two about unbridled development.

    Naaah! That's only taxpayer money.

  3. Statistically SpeakingSeptember 13, 2011 at 5:38 PM

    Umm, wouldn't that be a 0.2 percent chance each year? (.2 x 500 = 100).

    We can all sleep better now.

  4. "Damp Throat" is the funniest thing I've read today. That is all.

  5. Note to the Post: It's a Cadillac Brougham, not Broughan.


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