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Little impact felt from flooding, officials say

February 24, 2003|by GREGORY T. SIMMONS

gregs@herald-mail.com

The snow came, then the rain came, but the floods didn't, allowing agencies that overstaffed themselves for the weekend to relax a little Sunday night.

"It was actually kind of boring," said Lt. Robert Horning, who was the duty officer Saturday at Williamsport Volunteer Fire Department Station No. 2.

"We got hammered in '96" after a blizzard similar in strength to last week's storm was followed by heavy rains. But this year was much different, Horning said.

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"We expected more calls," he said. "Kind of shocked that we didn't get more - happy that we didn't get more, don't get me wrong."

Hagerstown city workers were out Saturday waiting for something to happen, but aside from continuing to clear snow from storm drains, there was only one call for a driveway that flooded, said Eric Deike, manager of the city's Public Works Department.

"Fortunately, we didn't have a downpour at any one time. ... Things worked out real well," Deike said.

Local fire departments said they went to a few homes that flooded but there was no major flooding in the area. Snow that was weighed down from the inch of rain that fell Saturday damaged some buildings, but the possibility of major flooding appears to have passed, officials said Sunday.

The Lowe's hardware store on Wesel Boulevard closed at 4 p.m. Saturday because water that collected on the roof was leaking and had begun to damage the ceiling structure, Assistant Manager Randy Ritchey said Sunday.

"We just didn't want anybody hurt," he said. An engineer checked out the roof after more snow melted and deemed it safe, Ritchey said, so the store opened Sunday at noon.

The Kmart on East Main Street in Waynesboro, Pa., closed Saturday and Sunday because of excessive water on the roof, said Manager Joyce Nale.

"I saw the pictures from that Toys 'R' Us (that collapsed in Prince George's County, Md.) ... so there wasn't much of a question on our part of what we needed to do," Nale said.

Washington County services were never overloaded, said Emergency Services Director Joe Kroboth.

"I would say (the amount of flooding) was close to expectations, but I guess we probably expected a little more than what we had. It was within our expectations."

More wintry weather is predicted for later in the week: Light snow was forecast for Wednesday and heavier snow on Thursday.

"We've still got a little more winter to go through, but hopefully it's going to end soon. I think everybody's had enough," Deike said.

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