5-inch downpour floods basements in Taneytown Sewer system overtaxed

no injuries reported

July 10, 1996|By Donna R. Engle | Donna R. Engle,SUN STAFF

A heavy thunderstorm poured 5 inches of rain onto the Taneytown area in a little more than an hour Monday evening, flooding 32 basements and overwhelming the city's sewer system.

No storm-related injuries were reported, and area roads remained passable.

Firefighters received a call to rescue a woman whose car was reportedly being moved by high water in a convenience store parking lot. The woman had gotten out of the car by the time rescuers arrived, said Kevin Koons, a Taneytown Volunteer Fire Company paramedic.

It was a long night of pumping out flooded basements for about 50 of the city's volunteer firefighters.

Koons said firefighters pumped water out of 30 basements between 7 p.m. Monday and 1 a.m. Tuesday and then were called to pump out two more basements at 7: 30 a.m.

"We hope it doesn't happen again tonight," Koons said, referring to yesterday's forecast of possible late afternoon and evening thundershowers.

"That's why we're all watching the Weather Channel."

The rain caused the city sewer system to back up into the basements of two homes and one business.

"The enormous amount of rainfall in a short period caused a lot of inflow problems," said City Manager Charles "Chip" Boyles.

Storm water that flowed into sewer mains diluted the raw sewage, he said, adding that he didn't think there was any health hazard.

Taneytown officials are working to upgrade and expand the outdated sewer system, which serves 1,500 customers.

City engineers are preparing to solicit proposals for preliminary expansion plans, which would show how much additional capacity the city should add and what treatment would be required to meet state discharge standards, Boyles said.

The Maryland Department of the Environment must approve the preliminary plans before Taneytown can receive additional grant money to cover the cost of designing and implementing the treatment plant improvements.

Pub Date: 7/10/96

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