Northern Virginia's been hammered by some strong thunderstorms in recent weeks, and our parks have been no exception. Potomac Overlook Regional Park has been hit particularly hard, with trees & branches littering the area around the nature center.
How bad is it? Martin Ogle, chief naturalist for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, tells me Potomac Overlook Regional Park suffered "probably as much or more damage than during Hurricane Isabel in 2003." The park's website says its phone service has been knocked out.
Down the trail at Donaldson Run, the already-eroded banks show further signs of damage. When large amounts of rain fall quickly in a community that has ever-increasing amounts of impermeable surfaces, the stream gets more water than it can handle, piling the pressure on its basin.
It's not just soil & vegetation that can be stripped down. About 200 yards up from the Potomac River, what had once been a steep, rocky waterfall appears to have been broken up by flooding into more of a series of steps: