As the tragedy continues to unfold on the Gulf Coast, we should keep in mind that hurricane season is not over and additional major storms are expected. Some of my out of town readers must be wondering what if this happened to Washington, DC.
Hurricanes are rare in Washington, and when they do come they have usually weakened to tropical storms. But we are occasionally hit. Unlike New Orleans, the poor people live on the higher elevations and the rich live near the river. The State Department, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund are all located in what is known as Foggy Bottom. Speaks for itself. The famous Watergate complex is located, as its name suggest, right next to the Potomac River.
Hurricane Agnes was a tropical storm by the time it rolled across Washington, but the flooding was extensive. The Pentagon, which sits on a rise, was spared, but all the surrounding roads were flooded. The whole area along both sides of the river was flooded. In Georgetown everything below M Street was covered with water. In the unlikely event that Washington is hit, things will play out very differently than the Gulf Coast.