Heard on the Hill

Heavy rains cause closure of tunnel between Rayburn and the Capitol ... again

Pedestrian walkway and one subway was closed temporarily

The pedestrian walkway in the Rayburn tunnel that connects to the Capitol floods due to heavy rain Monday. (Chris Marquette/CQ Roll Call)

As raindrops pummeled those walking to work on Capitol Hill, a heavy accumulation of water flooded the pedestrian walkway in the Rayburn House Office Building tunnel, causing it to be closed for about an hour.

The pouring rain overflowed into the pedestrian walkway connecting Rayburn to the Capitol and — although the subway furthest from the walkway experienced no interruption — the train closest to the flooding was not in service during the cleanup. 

“The Rayburn tunnel closed temporarily this morning due to water infiltration caused by the intense rainfall on campus,” said Laura Condeluci, a public affairs specialist for the Architect of the Capitol. “It reopened after the Architect of the Capitol cleaned the walkways for the safety of staff and visitors.”

The pedestrian walkway in the Rayburn tunnel that connects to the Capitol flooded due to heavy rain Monday.
The pedestrian walkway in the Rayburn tunnel that connects to the Capitol floods on Monday. (Chris Marquette/CQ Roll Call)

The area was blocked off by signs and staff as an Architect of the Capitol employee drove a piece of equipment that cleared up the flooding. They used wet vacuums and floor scrubbers to get rid of the standing water. 

The tunnel has been known to flood during severe D.C. weather, and flooded in July 2018 during a heavy storm.

[Capitol-Cannon Tunnel Floods, Surprising Very Few

The pedestrian walkway in the Rayburn tunnel that connects to the Capitol flooded due to heavy rain Monday.
The pedestrian walkway in the Rayburn tunnel that connects to the Capitol flooded due to heavy rain Monday, July 8, 2019 (Chris Marquette/ CQ Roll Call).

The National Weather Service reported that 3.3 inches of rain fell on D.C. in the span of one hour Monday, causing flooding across the area. 

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone.