- The Washington Times - Monday, July 8, 2019



It’s only early July, and there are no clear signs that a hurricane bearing down on the mid-Atlantic region is imminent.

That’s good news that brings a question about things that might come: What happens when the D.C. swamp overflows?

Well, we know that water follows the path of least resistance, and the deafening flash-flood alert that screamed from D.C.-area cellphones Monday morning was no test.

Torrential rains pounded so quickly in so short a period of time that roadways flooded, swimming pools became basins and the waters near the U.S. Navy Yard swelled with sewage and other garbage.

The White House basement was not spared, and congressional walkways had to be cordoned off.

Yet, the yuckiest stink of all, however, came from politicians.

Mayor Murial Bowser reminded motorists of the usual catchphrase, “turn around, don’t drown,” in deep water. However, she, like fellow Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the frosh representative from New York, missed the point.

Our local meteorologists and first responders have been warning of the dangers of the potential downpours before morning rush hour began.

Miss Ocasio-Cortez, for her part, took to Twitter to say, “Unprecedented flooding is quickly becoming a new normal. Despite that, Republicans are tripling down on fossil fuels w/no plan to transition off them, or make the critical infra investments we need to prep for the climate crisis. Each day of inaction puts more of us in danger.

“Climate change intensifies flooding, wildfires, & extreme weather. It’s more than 1 day or 1 storm; it’s all of them. Places are flooding where they haven’t before; there are 90-degree days in Alaska in June. The GOP will mock & sow confusion until it’s their home swept away,” Miss Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Well, the New York congresswoman would have won considerable “infra cred” had she spent more time on the need to rebuild and reinforce America’s infrastructure.

Alexander “Boss” Shepherd, who ran the city’s public works system and was D.C. governor post-Reconstruction, would likely have given her a nod. After all, he laid the sewer lines and paved the city’s roads. Can the city’s infrastructure handle all the new demands on water works?

Like many of the nation’s oldest urban cities, the renaissance in D.C., Northern Virginia and parts of Maryland is taking a toll, on roadways, on public works and on other infrastructure. Railroads are carrying more commercial freight, and mass transit systems and airports aging.

Our roadways and byways and highways are suffering under the weight of it all.

All the while, mayors tout more and new affordable housing, businesses push for additional and newer workspace, and road crews are pounding pavement over and over and over again trying to please them all (including Jeff Bezos’ new digs in Arlington).

What’s more likely causing the flooding? Rip-roaring motor vehicles or the fact that America’s infrastructure has not received our full time and attention?

AOC knows she’ll get the media’s attention by criticizing President Trump and the Republican Party. (Yawn.)

She could do better, though, by focusing on what matters, including bolstering America’s “infra.”

As the swamp drains, those pols with no “cred” are destined to be exposed.

Deborah Simmons can be contacted at [email protected]

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