Heavy rains drench state

Light rail service disrupted

Downed power lines at Gilroy interrupts service to 5 stations

Baltimore Co. reports 12 water rescues


Hurricane season

September 28, 2004|By Baltimoresun.com Staff

The remnants of Hurricane Jeanne saturated Maryland today, closing several roads in Western Maryland, snarling rush-hour traffic for many and slowing rail service in Baltimore.

Light rail service between the Warren Road and Hunt Valley stations was interrupted because of downed power lines at the Gilroy Station, said Richard Scher, a Maryland Transit Administration spokesman.

MTA buses at the Warren Road station will provide transportation to each of the five stations up to Hunt Valley, Scher said.

Crews will be working into the night to repair the problem, Scher said. It should be completed by tomorrow.

"A lot depends on the weather," he said.

The overhead wires that power the light rail system are very susceptible to any severe weather, Scher said.

Meanwhile, In northern Baltimore County, flooding was reported from Shawan Road to the Pennsylvania line, said fire department spokeswoman Elise Armacost.

"Swift water is moving across bridges and roads," she said. "We're advising people to stay off the roads."

Armacost said there were about 12 water rescues in the county tonight. Most of them "ended uneventfully."

Several parts of the Baltimore area have received about 1 to 3 inches of rain, said weather service meteorologist Roger Smith.

Jeanne was moving quickly over Maryland and was expected to be off the Mid-Atlantic coast by midnight, said weather service meteorologist Roy Miller.

By 5 p.m., precipitation amounts ranged from 2 to 3 inches in Harford County as reported by the National Weather Service.

High winds and a waterspout damaged the Solomons Island visitor center. Calvert County Emergency Management Specialist Sandy Simmons said strong winds also blew down an old barn.

About 20 roads were closed due to stream flooding in northern and western parts of Frederick County, said Jeremy Heflin, an assistant shift supervisor with Frederick County Emergency Services.

He said the heavy rain contributed to numerous traffic accidents and may have caused a tractor-trailer to overturn on Interstate 70 near the U.S. 340 interchange.

"It was raining pretty hard when that occurred," he said.

The National Weather Service predicted the Potomac River would overflow its banks Thursday at Shepherdstown, W.Va., and Point of Rocks, causing minor flooding as the rainwater flows from higher elevations toward the Chesapeake Bay.

Earlier today, the flood warnings prompted railroad operator CSX Corp. to impose a 40 mph speed limit on the Brunswick line of the MARC commuter rail system. CSX predicted "significant delays" for MARC rider returning home from the Washington metropolitan area.

Downgraded from a hurricane after cutting through Florida over the weekend, Jeanne steered north Monday as a tropical depression.

"This is similar to other storms that we've had over last month or so, with the remnants of tropical storms tracking through," said weather service meteorologist Neil Stuart.

Jeanne moved over Virginia earlier Tuesday, dumping as much as 12 inches of rain and turning roads to rivers. Some homes there were evacuated as rivers spilled over their banks.

Buildings and other property were damaged Monday in parts of the Carolinas, and thousands lost power in Georgia and North Carolina.

On the Net:

National Weather Service Hydrometeorological Prediction Center: http://www.hpc.ncep.noaa.gov/

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Originally published September 28, 2004, 11:00 PM EDT

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