Homeowner has to 'wade in' after heavy rain

February 24, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

Homeowner has to 'wade in' after heavy rain

When the rising water reached the front and back doors of his Sandstone Drive mobile home Tuesday afternoon, Richard Miller knew he needed some help.

"To get into the front or back you have to wade in," Miller said, pointing to his mobile home that looked more like a boat in the middle of a lake.

Firefighters from Smithsburg Volunteer Fire Department and the Washington County Civil Defense Field Operations were called in at 4 p.m. and worked into Tuesday night stacking up sandbags to keep water standing in a nearby field from flowing into the trailer, said Fred Smith, president of the fire department.


A fire truck also was used to pump the water out of Miller's yard and into a nearby creek, Smith said. By 6:30 p.m., the water had receded to Miller's front porch.

"It's not the first time this has happened, but it really got bad this time," said Miller, 60, who's lived there his whole life.

Besides turning people's yards and basements into swimming pools, the rain and snow caused flooding and slick conditions on Tri-State area roads Tuesday morning.

Schools were closed in Washington County and in Morgan County, W.Va., and delayed for two hours in Jefferson and Berkeley counties in West Virginia.

More than 1.5 inches of rain fell in Hagerstown on Monday and into Tuesday morning, though up to 8 inches of snow was reported in the higher elevations, according to meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

A weather watcher in Chambersburg, Pa., reported a total of 3 inches of rain and snow fell Monday and Tuesday.

Martinsburg, W.Va. had more than 1.5 inches of mixed precipitation in the two days and Cumberland, Md., had more than 1.25 inches of rain in the two days.

The area is expected to get a break from the wet weather today and Thursday, with mostly sunny skies and temperatures reaching into the mid- to upper 50s, said Julie Arthur, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

But rain is likely again by the end of the week, continuing through the weekend, she said.

The recent precipitation brings the monthly rainfall total in Hagerstown to more than 4.5 inches, and the yearly total so far to 10.75 inches, said Greg Keefer, Hagerstown weather observer.

The National Weather Service issued a minor flood warning for today for the Potomac River in Shepherdstown, W.Va., and the Shenandoah River in Millville, W.Va.

The flood stage at the Potomac in Shepherdstown is 15 feet and the river is expected to crest at between 15 feet and 16 feet this afternoon, Arthur said.

The Shenandoah's flood stage at Millville is 13.5 feet, and the river was expected to crest at about 9 feet this afternoon, she said.

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