Rising water sends tanks downstream

June 05, 2003|by SCOTT BUTKI

Rising water caused three propane tanks to detach from their mooring and float, possibly emptying as they went, down the Conococheague Creek and into the Potomac River Wednesday, Washington County officials sad.

It was unknown whether the valves on the tanks were turned off at the time the tanks went into the creek on Hopps Landing Road south of Cearfoss, Washington County Emergency Services Director Joe Kroboth said.

The tanks could have been emptying propane as they floated, Kroboth said. If they still contained propane, they could have exploded had they struck something, he said

At about 11 a.m. Wednesday, county emergency workers were contacted about a home at 13725 Hopps Landing Road, where a 125-pound propane tank and two 25-pound propane tanks had been attached to the house by piping, Kroboth said.


When the water rose, the tanks were detached and floated into the creek, he said.

By the time emergency crews arrived, the tanks were going downstream too fast for workers to stop them, Kroboth said. He aborted efforts to try to retrieve the tanks because the conditions were unsafe, he said.

The private Hopps Landing Road is along the creek south of Cearfoss.

The county alerted the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources about the tanks, he said.

By early Wednesday evening, the tanks had floated about five to six miles downstream and into the Potomac River, he said.

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