Flood warnings issued as driving rain, wind cuts power, closes roads

  • Vehicles along Waterview Avenue in the Cherry Hill neighborhood of Baltimore make a big splash driving through puddles caused by heavy rain the past two days.
Vehicles along Waterview Avenue in the Cherry Hill neighborhood… (Baltimore Sun photo by Kenneth…)
March 14, 2010|By From Sun staff and news services

Heavy rain and wind closed local roads and cut power to thousands in Maryland this weekend, and the state was under flood warnings from the Eastern Shore to the West Virginia line.

About 75 people voluntarily evacuated Allegany County because of concerns about flooding. Maryland Emergency Management Agency spokesman Ed McDonough said Saturday's evacuations could be followed by others today as a precaution.

"As floodwaters start to crest, we are concerned ... about communities [prone to flooding] along the Potomac - in Garrett, Allegany, Frederick counties," he said.

Officials in those areas will monitor weather reports to decide whether to urge people to move to higher ground, McDonough said.

As the storm drenched the state and trees fell on utility lines, nearly 35,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric customers lost power, mostly in Baltimore City and County and Anne Arundel County. By Saturday evening, only a few hundred were still in the dark.

Many trees damaged in the February snowstorms were left in a "precarious position," said BGE spokesman Rob Gould. "It doesn't take much to take them down."

The heaviest rainfall was expected across lower southern Maryland and northeast Maryland through Saturday and early today, said meteorologist Nikole Listemaa of the National Weather Service. Since rain began Friday, the area has seen from 1 1/2 to 3 inches.

A coastal flood warning remained in effect until 11 am. today for the greater Baltimore metropolitan area, National Weather Service meteorologist Calvin Meadows said.

Heavy, steady rain brought small streams and creeks to their brims, while waters rose to flood stage along the Potomac River, the Monocacy and other rivers.

Police and weather officials reported roads closed by floods and fallen trees in Baltimore, Howard, Allegany, Harford, Anne Arundel and Frederick counties.

In Baltimore County, portions of Eastern Avenue, Old North Point Road and Old Battle Grove Road were flooded and closed. At the Baltimore County-Anne Arundel County line, Hammonds Ferry Road at the Interstate 695 overpass and Hollins Ferry Road were closed as was Furnace Branch Road in Anne Arundel. In Frederick, police shut down portions of Routes 77 and 17.

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