More rain dumped on wet state

Showers, thunderstorms bring more than 2 inches, flood roads in Maryland

August 02, 2004|By Frank D. Roylance | Frank D. Roylance,SUN STAFF

The first day of August brought no relief from the wet weather Central Maryland endured last month, as showers and thunderstorms - at times torrential - hit the region yesterday.

Rivers and streams rose quickly as overnight thunderstorms were followed by morning downpours. More storms boiled up in late afternoon.

Flash-flood warnings were issued for Baltimore, Carroll and Cecil counties as the morning storms dumped more than 2 inches of rain in a narrow band reaching across the area. The warnings expired at 11 a.m., but were raised again just after 4 p.m. for Baltimore city and county.

Heavy rain and a quick rise of water in Gunpowder Falls carried away a man who had been tubing with several other people near Corbett Road in Hereford about 5 p.m.

About 100 people joined in a search for Michael McGinn, 36, of Timonium, a veteran rafter and tuber, said friend and fellow tuber Robyn Dracy of Mount Washington - an effort that ended happily more than two hours later when McGinn emerged from woods about three miles downstream, his shoeless feet cut and bruised, she said.

McGinn told friends he was washed into a cornfield and walked through thick underbrush before being found.

High water forced police to close Tank Road in Finksburg for a time yesterday morning. Nicodemus Road, between Routes 32 and 97 south of Westminster, and Watersville Road at Gillis Falls Road, north of Mount Airy, were among a number of other roads closed because of flooding.

The same weather pattern caused serious problems in southeastern Pennsylvania, where forecasters also issued flood warnings and watches.

In the flood-prone Philadelphia suburb of Upper Darby, more than 10 feet of water filled the basements and part of the first floors of four apartment buildings, Mayor Paula Brown said.

Some parts of central Pennsylvania reported 3 to 4 inches of rain overnight, with flooding along some creeks and rivers in Lancaster, York and Cumberland counties, according to the weather service in State College.

In Washington County, Williamsport recorded almost 2 inches of rain. Instruments at Hereford Middle School reported 1.28 inches. Annapolis got about a half-inch, and Hagerstown saw about three-fourths of an inch. Instruments at Baltimore-Washington International Airport recorded about two-thirds of an inch of rain yesterday morning.

Close to 6 inches of rain had fallen in some parts of Baltimore County, including an area just south of Parkton, between 8 a.m. Saturday and yesterday evening, said Cindy Woods, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The rain comes on the heels of last month's drenching. At BWI, rain fell for seven straight days late last month, including a record - for the date - 4.45-inch soaking Tuesday.

The month ended with 8.69 inches of rain at BWI's official monitoring station, making it the wettest July since 1945, and the fifth-wettest in 133 years of record-keeping for Baltimore.

A 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms remains into this evening, forecasters said, but there's drier weather on tap for the rest of the week.

Sun staff writers Richard Irwin and Stephanie Hanes and the Associated Press contributed to this article.

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