Large sinkhole forms in Northern Virginia as flash flooding prompts water rescues


Flash flooding inundated some roads Wednesday morning in Northern Virginia and created a large sinkhole in Manassas Park.

The sinkhole was reported about 4:30 a.m. along Moseby Court and Moseby Drive, said Capt. Frank Winston, a spokesman for the Manassas Park Police. The location is about one mile west of Centreville Road.

Winston said the sinkhole was about 50 feet by 100 feet. A parked car was washed away to a nearby creek and two other cars were “in danger of going into the sinkhole,” he said.

The road leads to a condo and townhouse community where about 400 residents live, leaving them “trapped” in the area because the road serves the community, Winston said.

No one was injured in the sinkhole incident. Crews worked Wednesday to make repairs to the road.

“With the torrential rains that came through this morning, we had water that was four feet deep and up in the vehicles that were parked in the area,” Winston said.

An officer was on routine patrol in the area when he thought he noticed downed trees, Winston said, but when he got closer he realized “the street had been washed away.”

Crews performed two water rescues involving two different vehicles Wednesday morning near Lee Highway and Sudley Road, said Matt Smolsky, assistant chief of the Prince William County Fire Department. He said the two drivers were trying to go through water that was at “tire-level.” He said no one was injured and reminded motorists to avoid driving on water-covered roads.

Authorities in Fairfax County said Hunter Mill Road in Vienna was closed in both directions because of high water. Part of Old Dominion Drive near Briar Ridge Road in McLean was closed because of a fallen tree.

The deluge marked the opening act of a five-day stretch during which significant amounts of rain could fall over the Washington region.

Because of previous rainfall that has soaked the ground — nearly 4 inches so far in Washington during August — it will take only 1 to 1.5 inches of rain in an hour to trigger flooding, according to the National Weather Service.

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