Weather-Induced Evacuation Ordered Near U.S. Capitol Before Trump July 4 Speech

Andy Dunaway/USAF via Getty Images

The National Weather Service has issued a flash flood watch for parts of the nation's capital and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs.

The U.S. Capitol Police ordered the evacuation of the "West Front" of the U.S. Capitol due to severe weather just over an hour before President Trump is scheduled to deliver a July 4 speech at his "Salute to America" celebration. Several minutes before the speech was originally scheduled to occur, however, the police cleared the original evacuation order.

The first evacuation announcement came less than an hour after "Salute to America" organizers announced "Today's event has been delayed. Please stand by" to visitors at the event.

About a half hour before his speech was scheduled to being, Trump suggested the speech would be delayed by 15 minutes when he tweeted, "Weather looking good, clearing rapidly and temperatures going down fast. See you in 45 minutes, 6:30 to 7:00 P.M. at Lincoln Memorial!"

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for parts of the nation's capital and the Maryland and Virginia suburbs hours before the Independence Day celebration on the National Mall was set to begin.

The watch is active until 8 p.m., which would stretch into the evening when President Donald Trump plans to speak from the Lincoln Memorial. Military flyovers also are on the schedule.

The Weather Service says storms are expected to develop early afternoon and there may be torrential rains. It says there's a chance of flash flooding.

Trump has promised his "Salute to America" will be the "show of a lifetime" for revelers who flock to the National Mall. Critics call Trump's event a waste of money.

During the bad weather, MacGyver actor and Trump critic Billy Baldwin, attending the July 4 proceedings on the National Mall, tweeted jokes about the rainy weather. "C’mon MAGA… show us what you’re made of!!," he said in one tweet with a video showing pouring rain. In another, also showing rainy weather, he wrote, "God is good... can I get an Amen!! #TrumpParade" (with a praying-hands emoji).