ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Tidal flooding closed roads and surrounding areas in Alexandria and Annapolis over the weekend, but this wasn’t a flood event from rainfall. Rather, it was a result of the full Hunter’s Moon and Tropical Storm Melissa.
For people in Old Town Alexandria over the weekend, the flooding came as a bit of a surprise.
“We had heard about the tidal flood alerts, so we were just sort of watching the window later in the day," Paige Alexander said. Alexander works at the Old Town Shop near the Old Town's waterfront and said she started to notice the water creeping up around the side streets of her shop around 6 p.m.
She said it didn’t take long for the street in front of the shop to close.
“About 6:45 p.m. the cops pulled up in front of the store and closed the street,” Alexander said. "Our manager said it’s time to go home, you’re going to get stuck there if you wait any longer.”
The tidal flooding caused some shops to close early, costing the stores money.
“We were having a great day sales-wise,” Alexander said. "But I think once everyone outside saw the water creeping up, thought they were going to get stuck and were leaving in a hurry.”
The owner of The Old Town Shop said the store lost out on about 30 percent of the store's usual daily sales.
Flooding isn’t unusual for Old Town, but people said it was strange to see it happen with no rain in sight.
"People were up the street just looking at the water wondering what this is, what's going on, are we witnessing some sort of phenomenon."
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association, NOAA, rising sea levels mean that it doesn’t take a big storm to cause coastal flooding. This, in addition to persistent winds from Tropical Storm Melissa and an upcoming full moon, has left increasingly high water levels and runoff.
That doesn’t stop people from getting caught off guard.
"There was definitely a frenzy of we need to get out of here," Alexander said.
As for stores opening back up, they were back open on Sunday.
Coastal flood warnings and advisories are still in effect until Monday morning.