Cleanup up follows storm, flooding

Thursday night's torrent is blamed for one death, serious property damage

August 28, 1999|By Erika Niedowski | Erika Niedowski,SUN STAFF

The Baltimore area continued mopping up yesterday from the torrential rains that drenched the region Thursday, flooding cars and basements, downing trees and power lines and contributing to a traffic accident that police said killed a 16-year-old boy.

Scott Sickel, of the 2900 block of Georgia Ave., Baltimore County, was walking in the curb lane of the 700 block of Patapsco Ave. about 11 p.m. Thursday to avoid standing water on the sidewalk when he was struck by a 1989 Mazda driven by David Russell, according to city police spokeswoman Angelique Cook-Hayes.

Russell, of Virginia, was driving in the curb lane because of the heavy rain and limited visibility. According to Cook-Hayes, Russel saw something to the side of his vehicle and struck Sickel, who was pronounced dead at the scene at 11: 10 p.m.

Thursday's rains, which measured 3.12 inches in the city, came fast and furious. High water forced lane closures on three roads in Anne Arundel County, State Highway Administration officials said.

Statewide, 48,000 homes were without electricity as of 10 p.m. Thursday, said Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokesman Karl Neddenien. Last night, 4,000 homes, about half of them in Baltimore, had no power, but service was expected to be restored to nearly all customers last night, he said.

In Baltimore County, the rains swelled a west-side storm drain and culvert in Woodlawn and subsequent flooding did $2 million in damage to a nearby auto dealer.

Fast-moving water raged 6 feet deep across the sprawling Fox Auto & Truck Discount Centers in the 6600 block of Security Blvd., said sales manager Darren J. Gordon. About 70 new trucks were damaged, he said.

The parking lot of the Meadow Mill Athletic Club in the 3600 block of Clipper Mill Road looked like a scrap heap of wrecked automobiles.

Outside the club, which sits at the bottom of a basin behind a stream, Nancy Wolf found her Jeep Cherokee on top of an Audi. The force of Thursday's flood had moved it -- and 39 other cars -- several yards from its original parking place.

"I think this is the epicenter where the flash flood was," said Paul Eberling, who found his 6-month-old Dodge Durango coated with mud and tree branches, inside and out. "It was a sea of floating cars. It was quite a disaster scene. People were wading through the water, but the scary part was exiting through the water through a lightning storm."

While the rainfall hasn't brought an end to the drought -- the area is still short about 12 inches of rain compared to last year -- there are some encouraging signs. The water level in reservoirs statewide, which had been declining since July, appears to have stabilized.

Sun staff writers Mike Farabaugh, Zerline A. Hughes, Joel McCord, TaNoah Morgan and Dail Willis contributed to this article.

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