House Flooded (and the Fairfax County Cops Just Watched)

Cameron Run jumped its banks in Alexandria, Virginia this evening. A surge of water flooded the street immediately after filming this video. We escaped with water lapping at our tires.

The area was already saturated by Hurricane Irene, and non-stop rains from the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee proved to be too much for Cameron Run. Fairfax County Emergency Government failed to clear the neighborhood or warn people to move their cars despite prior incidents with the Run. While the Fairfax County Government said in public statements that they evacuated the neighborhood, the police literally sat in parked cars and watched the waters rise.

This was the scene of the flood of 2006, dubbed a 100 year flood by Fairfax County government and Virginia DoT, who both shunned responsibility for that event. That flood displaced 150 homes temporarily and caused millions of dollars of damages.

So, right now we are out of a home. We’ll be living in a hotel this weekend, and will be assessing the damage to determine what to do next.

I think both Caitlin and I feel two 100 year floods in five years is a bit much, and are likely to take this opportunity to wish the Huntington neighborhood fair tidings as we move elsewhere. Of course, we are a bit sore, too, right now, but we have to think about our daughter’s welfare, too.

Last time we sustained $50,000 worth of uninsured damages to our house. This time we have much more robust flood insurance, thank goodness. A rare ask to wish us well as we figure this out.

And a final word to the media who reported Fairfax County Government’s evacuation claims. Check your facts.

Photos and Stories from the Flood – September, 10

Below find photos from the flood clean-up that began yesterday.

  • Geoff – it sounds like you guys are making a sound call. “100 year floods” are a myth. If the conditions are right? That could happen every few years or so.

    Take care of you, Caitlin & Soleil. That’s all you have to do. And if there’s anything we can do from here? Let me know. Insurance is nifty if you have it – but it *still* takes time for them to process the claim and to cut you a check. What do you need in the short run that we can help with?

  • Shit. This is just a bad week all around. So sorry, man. If you need anything, DM me. Fastest way to get my attention.

  • I think you will be making the right decision leaving.  That is NOT good at all and you have your daughter to think about.  I hope you wind up on the plus side of this minus situation. 

  • Andreabona

    I am out of town and was wondering how you were fairing with the rain, now I know. Take care, and if you are looking to relocate to a quite neighborhood that doesn’t flood I would be happy to suggest a few alternatives.

  • Best wishes. I’m glad you’re thinking about your daughter and I’m glad you’re thinking ahead, too.

  • Geoff, I’m so sorry to hear this. As someone who lived in New Orleans during Katrina, I have been there, and I know how difficult it can be. My husband and I made the decision to uproot ourselves and leave the city where we’d planned to live out our days, for the same reasons you’re talking about. Having the possibility of another disaster hanging over our heads just wasn’t something we wanted to live with.

    But coming to that decision is wrenching, and there is so much to do (either way). Just know that all of your friends are here to support you, and whether you need an understanding ear or help with work, just let me know!

  • Lisa Cannon

    So hard to uproot your family when there’s a little one in the mix. Glad you got out. Glad you have some insurance this time. Hope that rain subsiding this weekend set you on a path to drying out. . . All the best. 

  • Holy crap. Scary and appalling. Wishing you guys a speedy recovery.

  • Oh, Geoff. What a mess! Thankfully, you’re all safe. But I feel for you having to deal with this. It’s great that you have decent insurance this time. But I know it won’t help with all the logistics and short-term challenges. Keep us posted. Let us know if there’s anything we can offer from a distance, beyond emotional support. Hugs!

  • Good luck, Geoff. This season has just been odd and damaging. Wish you and the family well!

  • Well this sucks. Glad you have flood insurance. The optimist in me wants to believe you were at the end of the first 100 year cycle, and now at the beginning of another. Either way, I hope this doesn’t happen to you again for a long, long time. Stay well.

  • Bummer, dude. Sorry to hear about it.

    If it’s any consolation, there are few places left in the country with as much raw, unspoiled beauty as Arizona, where I think I’ve seen maybe 20-30 minutes of rain – total – since March. We could really use the forward-thinking, globally-minded type down here. First beer is on me, sir.

    And, lest anyone thinks me suggesting the grass is greener, allow me to point out we actually discourage planting grass out here.

    Regardless, everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.

  • Nahum

    Geoff, sorry to read about the flood in your home. Please et me know how I could be of help.

  • Nahum

    Geoff, sorry to read about the flood in your home. Please et me know how I could be of help.

  • Nahum

    Geoff, sorry to read about the flood in your home. Please et me know how I could be of help.

  • Anonymous

    Geoff, if you need a place, we live on the west coast and you could stay for a bit while you make your decisions.  Let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

  • Geoff: If your family needs it, I have some extra room in the cloud you could use. :) We dealt with water in the basement issues this year before a long, dry summer, and that was enough disruption for me (the dehumidifier is still running today). Glad you got out before the water hit your house. I hope you’re able to move back in soon, but it can take a long time to restore a flooded place if the mud and water had time to soak in.

  • Geoff,

    I’d dress in drag to help you out, but…I’m already a woman…

    So, if there’s anything else I can do, or anything else we in your community can do, please don’t hesitate to ask.

    The most important thing is that you and the fam are okay.  AND, Soleil already has her “When I was a kid” story set up for the generations to come. If that’s any consolation…


  • Cbfrance12

    Hi Geoff, I know how you feel since I am on the same boat as you. I wanted to make a comment about the evacuation. On fenwick drive, they came to the houses and told us to move our cars in higher ground. they also told me that I need to start moving my stuff out of the basement. Based on my neighbor, they told him that they opened the damp and we had about 45 minutes to clear the basement. Not sure how it went down on Arlington terrace but we did get some warnings.