2020 | Weather

After the deluge: Officials assessing flood damage from Thursday storm

Between 2 and 5 inches of rain fell

Beach Drive, just south of East West Highway in Chevy Chase.

Photo by Amy Barrett

Bethesda and other parts of southeastern Montgomery County experienced severe flooding Thursday afternoon, making roads impassible, causing dozens of motorists to become stuck in high water and bringing down some trees.

The county was under a flash flood warning for all of Thursday afternoon, when between 2 and 5 inches fell in various parts of the county, according to National Weather Service Meteorologist Kyle Pallozzi. Pallozzi said among the rain totals recorded Thursday in the county were:

  • 2.6 inches in Bethesda
  • 3.3 inches in Kensington
  • 3.5 inches in Takoma Park

The areas of the county closest to the Washington, D.C. border were the hardest hit, Pallozzi said. 

Pete Piringer, a Montgomery County Fire & Rescue spokesman, told Bethesda Beat Friday morning that they received 150 calls for service that were weather-related between 12:45 and 3:45 p.m. on Thursday. Of those, two dozen were calls from drivers who became trapped in flood waters, he said. About half of those who encountered had to be rescued, he said.

Piringer said there were no fatalities from the flooding and that one or two people were taken to the hospital, but their injuries weren’t serious.

Piringer said some of the areas most affected were along Little Falls Creek Parkway in Bethesda as well as Beach Drive in Chevy Chase, where the road parallels Rock Creek. He added that there were several downed trees along Beach Drive.


Meadowbrook Local Park in Chevy Chase, home of Candy Cane City playground, was particularly hard hit. Nearby Rock Creek flooded sending torrents of water over the playground and nearby athletic fields.


Parts of Silver Spring were also hit hard by the flooding in the Burnt Mills area, near U.S. 29, Piringer said.

County crews clean-up the mud and debris Friday morning in Meadowbrook Local Park in Chevy Chase. Photo by Steve Hull.

On Friday, Montgomery Parks warned residents in a press release that Sligo Creek Parkway and Beach Drive were closed to pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists due to the aftermath of the flooding. Little Falls Parkway from Massachusetts Avenue to Arlington Road will be open to cars Friday, the release said.

Melissa Chotiner, a parks spokeswoman, wrote in an email to Bethesda Beat that crews were out Friday morning assessing damage to the parks.

“There is a lot of debris, rocks and mud that our staff is working to clean up today so the parkways and parks impacted can be reopened as soon as possible,” she wrote.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com