Storm brings flooding to region

Roads under water, accidents make for a difficult commute

September 29, 2004|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

greatly diminished but clouds packing enough moisture to drop as much as 5 inches of rain in parts of metropolitan Baltimore.

The storm flooded roads, snarled traffic with rain-related accidents and created a chaotic evening commute.

But unlike the recently departed Ivan and a visit earlier this month from a soggy inconvenience here.

No serious injuries were reported, but at least three people were rescued stranded about 6 p.m. as she tried to exit northbound Interstate 83 at Freeland Road in northern Baltimore County, state police said.

Washington County officials reported two people were rescued when their vehicle went into a drainage ditch.

Late last night, Baltimore County officials reported serious flooding in the northern reaches of the county and warned motorists to use precaution when they took to the roads this morning.

"Just because the rain is over doesn't mean this problem is over," said Elise Armacost, a county spokeswoman.

flood-prone areas kept a wary eye on rising water in area streams.

In Annapolis, where some businesses sustained major water damage when Tropical Storm Isabel blew up the bay last year, city officials reported minor flooding in the City Dock area. At 6:30 p.m., police had closed some nearby streets and warned motorists to proceed with caution. Three hours later, all but the main parking lot at City Dock had reopened.

"The biggest story here is the precipitation," said Jim Lee, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va. "We have reports of anywhere from 3 to 6 inches of rainfall, with Washington and Frederick counties getting the most rain."

In Frederick County, officials reported more than 20 road closures because of rising water and many rain-related traffic accidents. In Washington County the story was much the same, with officials reporting at least 17 roads closed because of rising waters.

Downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical depression after slamming Florida over the weekend, Jeanne veered north Monday. Weather forcasters predicted that the center of the storm would track slightly south of the Baltimore region, but they were wrong, Lee said.

"From a positional standpoint, Jeanne ended up being a bit further north than we thought," he said. "But from an impact standpoint, [the shift] really didnt matter."

Rainfall for the region was just about what forecasters expected, Lee said.

The brunt of the storm hit farther west, however, drenching Washington and Frederick counties with 3 to 6 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

In Virginia, the storm delivered a much more devastating punch, with as much as 12 inches of rain, washing a woman from her mobile home in Patrick County in the western part of the state and turning roads into rivers throughout much of the region.

Gov. Mark R. Warner declared a state of emergency for all of Virginia, making state emergency resources available.

Much of Central Maryland was under a tornado watch yesterday, but the closest twister appeared to have hit about 4:15 p.m. to the northeast, near New Castle County Airport in Delaware. It tipped over a cargo plane, ripped roofs off nearby businesses and lifted a car off Delaware Route 141, authorities said. But no serious injuries were reported.

The Associated Press and Sun staff writers Richard Irwin and Laura Barnhardt contributed to this article.

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