When the businesses and residents met rising water with a mixture of surprise and preparedness.
"We've heard everything's flooded...furniture, tables, and a lot of it is wood, so I'm not sure how bad it will be," said a restaurant owner overlooking the waterlogged Washington Harbour.
Crews inside painted a grim picture. "Walking into the garage, you round the corner, and there's water," said a Pepco employee who spent hours working at the scene. "In the lower levels there's lots of mud, sediment, and whatever else the river deposited when it came in...It'll probably take weeks to clear that out."
Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Bill Starrels represents the single member district that includes the Washinton Harbour complex. He said he has not been given any specifics about the extent of the damage or the timeline for repairs.
"But you have to presume that what’s in the Potomac becomes what’s in the Washington Harbour," he said about the flooding conditions on the interior of the businesses.
Orders to evacuate came Monday afternoon. Residents and business owners haven't been given an estimate of when they'll be able to return to their property to survey damage. Whatever power was not cut by the flooding itself was cut by Pepco to allow workers to safely assess damage and begin working on repairs.
Starrels said his constituents are "obviously concerned" about being displaced and about the people who work at the Harbour, "everybody else is essnetially out of work" for now. The biggest question? They are wondering "why in the world they didn’t use the flood gates."
Not all restaurants were hit equally. Sequoia's owner said they expected to reopen soon as their restaurant received little damage and water only flooded lower levels and dry storage areas.