Heard on the Hill

Capitol-Cannon Tunnel Floods, Surprising Very Few

Rain-caused waterfalls not a rare occurrence in aging buildings

Capitol Police officers direct traffic away from the flooded Cannon tunnel (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call).

Tuesday’s extreme weather touched down on the Hill when tourists, lawmakers, staff and press were all turned away from the tunnel connecting the Capitol to the Cannon House Office Building after water flooded the pedestrian passageway.

Capitol Police officers keeping people away from the area were not surprised.

“Oh yeah, this happens every time it rains hard,” one officer said.

The water was pouring through the ceiling “like waterfalls,” according to the officers on the Capitol side of the tunnel.

Cannon is the oldest congressional office building, built in 1908. The building is currently undergoing a full renovation, which is expected to take 10 years and cost approximately $752.7 million.

Capitol workers used vacuums to try to clear the flooded areas. (Katherine Tully-McManus/CQ Roll Call)
Capitol workers used vacuums to try to clear the flooded areas. (Katherine Tully-McManus/CQ Roll Call)

On the Cannon side, Capitol Police officers were keeping people away from the main site of the flooding. Architect of the Capitol employees with wet-dry vacuums sucked up water from the floor and onlookers made way for AOC staff with ladders and absorbent materials heading toward the water.

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