A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

July 16, 2019

The Flood of July 8th, 2019 - The end of PoLA and the Aquia Line?

Flooding near King Street Metro stop
about a mile from my house
While we were enjoying beautiful weather in Utah last week, my hometown got hit with a torrential rain storm on July 8th.  Reports say up to 5 inches of rain fell in one hour.

We had about an inch of water in our basement as our sump pump could not keep up with the inflow. This is sad because about 3 weeks ago, I had a new sump pump installed with battery back-up and it was working well.

Now our basement is mostly dried out, but there is water in the space between the Allure laminate planks that I installed in 2011 and the concrete slab. The water left a thin layer of clay silt on the floor and baseboards that is proving difficult to clean.

My insurance company says they will cover some of the repairs. So tomorrow work crews are going to remove the laminate flooring and assess what else has to be done. Hopefully we do not have to remove the Aquia Line. It has relatively few legs that hold it up, so it will be easier to work around.

Unfortunately, PoLA will probably have to be removed as there are a lot more legs to deal with.

The unresolved question is what to put on the floor when the remediation is done. I'm leaning toward ceramic tile, as that seems to be better able to withstand occasional flooding.
Clay silt in the tile bathroom

If you are keeping score, this is the sixth water incident we have had in the basement. All have been from different failure mechanisms.

Some video of the flood waters from the WaPo at various locations in Northern Virginia.


  1. My heart goes out to you Bernie. It must be maddening.


  2. Six!!! After two, I was almost ready to abandon and move to higher ground. So sorry to hear you are going through this, Bernie. Good luck with the restoration.

  3. bummer! OTOH it does free you from not wanting to dismantle the POLA, sorry I missed the opportunity to operate on it.