Daylong rain brings floods, traffic jams

November 08, 1997|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

A daylong downpour dumped up to 4 inches of rain in parts of Maryland yesterday, flooding streets, snarling traffic and cutting power to homes.

Baltimore was soaked with more than 2 inches of rain and up to 4 inches fell in parts of Southern and Western Maryland, according to the National Weather Service.

The rain was expected to taper off to scattered showers today, said Jim Weismueller, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

Weismueller said that the storm moved up from the South and parked over central Maryland.

The rain meant a slow ride home last evening for many commuters in Baltimore, with traffic backed up about a mile on the Jones Falls Expressway. A fender-bender accident just before 4 p.m. closed the Harbor Tunnel for about 30 minutes, which diverted traffic to already slow-moving Fort McHenry Tunnel.

Traffic "was heavy to start with because of the rain, but when they detoured the Harbor Tunnel traffic, that just made it worse," said Diane Kent, a telecommunications operator for the Fort McHenry Tunnel.

City Department of Public Works crews were clearing storm drains of trash and leaves.

"We have about six or seven extra crews out now," Kurt Kocher, a public works spokesman, said last night. "In the fall, it does get tricky. The leaves are heavy, and they're falling every day."

Kocher said Fells Point experienced flooding yesterday, as it often does during heavy rains. Water accumulates at storm drains because they are only slightly above sea level, he said.

Up to 130 Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers in Westminster, Cockeysville and Howard County lost power, said Kathleen Nolan, a BGE spokeswoman.

Power was expected to be restored to all customers by this morning, she said.

State police had to direct traffic at several intersections along Route 210 in Prince George's and Charles counties near Accokeek, when traffic lights failed.

Pub Date: 11/08/97

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