Residents cautious as flooding subsides Monocacy exceeded post-blizzard levels in some areas

June 21, 1996|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

The sun was out, the road was dry and the Monocacy River was back in its place, rather than in the basement of Jamey and Jill Lingo's house in Detour.

But more rain was a strong possibility last night, and Lingo family members were advised not to move their belongings back home. Neighbors had helped them move their appliances to homes and businesses up the street Wednesday, and jammed as much furniture and other items as possible into the rooms and halls of the second floor.

Last night, Jill and the three children were going to stay in a motel, and Jamey was to sleep at a neighbor's home.

"I'm staying where I can watch," he said, a nervous edge to his voice.

They've been through this before. In January, the blizzard meltdown made the Monocacy rise so high that the Lingos' first floor had 6 inches of standing water.

Three days before the rains hit this week, the Lingos had their hardwood floors replaced and stained. The smell of new wallpaper and carpet lingers. But the water only reached the top of the basement stairs this time, stopping just short of the rehabbed first floor.

So far.

County officials were monitoring the threat of flooding in Detour and surrounding areas and were expected to make a final assessment of the extent of water damage today, said Cindy Parr, a county spokeswoman.

The county's preliminary assessment showed water damage was not as serious or widespread as it was after the January flooding in the aftermath of the blizzard, the spokeswoman said yesterday.

"We'll have to wait for all the rain to clear out before making a final assessment. Otherwise, it would not be valid," Parr said.

It wasn't as bad as January's flood for the Lingos, but in other parts of the Monocacy River flood plain, it was much worse.

Upstream, near Taneytown, Jo Ann and Roger Holcomb's house did not flood in January. But Wednesday's deluge brought the Monocacy more than 5 feet into their first floor.

Yesterday, the river had receded, and the Holcombs' dining room and living room furniture was emptied onto their front yard, waiting for the insurance adjuster. The couple was burying their gray tabby, Kit Kat, who drowned.

Their two Hereford cows had swum to safety on their own when the river began rising, but the 11 quarter horses in their barn had to be rescued by Mr. Holcomb and Taneytown volunteer firefighters. They roped the horses and led them through the raging river, putting their own lives in danger, Mrs. Holcomb said. Mr. Holcomb is a horse trainer, and eight of the rescued horses belong to his clients.

"It must have come down like a tidal wave," Mrs. Holcomb said. "If you could see the Monocacy when it's in its normal state, it's about 2 feet high. You wouldn't even call it a river. You'd call it a creek."

Pub Date: 6/21/96

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