Storms turn Rock Creek into raging river

(WJLA) - Calm evening waters on Thursday along Rock Creek belied the mess left behind after rain pummeled the D.C. region on Wednesday, turning this narrow waterway into a raging river.

High water even managed to push mud onto Rock Creek Parkway, causing a dusty distraction.

"This dose of dust here -- it's starting to get choking," said runner Charlie Crofts.

Runners and cyclists alike can barely navigate a nearby path, because it’s now covered in a sticky layer of debris.

"I haven't seen it like this since some time in the 90's," said runner Janel Doughten.

"Water, mud -- the footing is completely unpredictable," added Crofts.

During the peak of the storm, Joris De Mooij’s father snapped a picture at the very spot we met him. Now, he struggles to get home, which is not a welcome site for dozens of Northeast D.C. residents.

"I think the city is responsible for it,” says Monica Lester. She and her neighbors are cleaning up a disaster area – precisely, a foot of sewer water in her basement. It’s where she runs a day care center, and it’s now in ruins.

D.C. Water officials admit tree roots clogged those pipes and caused this horrific back-up – a problem Lester says she has complained about for years:

"It's all over everywhere you walk, and this is where I live and I gotta live in somebody else's filth."

It’s hard to imagine in the now tranquil light, all the damage unleashed by just one day’s rain.