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Workers rush to rescue of three homes in flood area

June 14, 2003|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

Firefighters and Washington County's Special Operations Team worked Friday to keep rushing water away from three homes on the 16000 block of Spielman Road south of Williamsport.

Together, they built a sandbag barrier, Williamsport Volunteer Fire Co. Capt. Scott Bragunier said.

Water soaked the finished basement of the middle home, ruining furniture and carpet, among other items, Bragunier said.

Bragunier said there was no estimate of the value of lost items. He would not release the name of the family who lived there.

The other two residences received less damage because they were mobile home-style buildings without basements, he said.

After a flash rainfall Friday afternoon, water gushed from a field that had been cleared of trees and rocks, Bragunier said. Four to 8 inches of water accumulated in the yards of the homes.

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Firefighters were dispatched to the flooding call at 5:48 p.m. and pumped water for more than an hour, Bragunier said.

The fire company and the Special Operations Team spent about an hour and 45 minutes on the call, Bragunier said.

George Hammond owns one of the homes without a basement. He said it had about 3 inches of water in a front room. One of his garages on the property had about 4 inches of water and the other had a little less.

Hammond said the flooding in the yard was up to 10 inches in spots. The water and mud buildup were "the worst I've seen," he said.

Hagerstown received .71 inches of rain Friday, according to weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site. Much of that dropped in a burst just after 4 p.m.

Keefer's Web site indicated the rain total for June rose to 6.04 inches, well above the average June of 3.83 inches, with more than half a month to go.

The record June rainfall in the last 100 or so years, according to the Web site, is 11.57 inches in 1928.

Tri-State emergency dispatchers said there were a few reports of water covering area roads.

In Berkeley County, W.Va., residents reported high water at Nadenbousch Lane and U.S. 11; Bowie Drive off Grade Road; Dry Run Road and Ridge Road South; and Big Springs Curve.

The only report of high water in Jefferson County was on Leetown Road.

There were no flooding reports in Frederick County, Md.; Morgan County, W.Va; and Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania.

The National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., said more rain is likely today in Hagerstown.

Meteorologist David Manning said the probability of rain is about 70 percent. The high temperature is expected to be about 80 degrees and the low in the mid-60s.

There's a 40 percent chance of rain tonight, he said.

Sunday should be mostly sunny, with a high temperature in the high 70s or low 80s, Manning said.

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