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Flooding still causes problems in county day after downpour

March 30, 2005|by KAREN HANNA

karenh@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Dozens of basements were reported flooded and some roads remained closed Tuesday, a day after heavy rains swept through the area.

Washington County emergency responders rescued a woman who was stranded in her Buick on Kemps Mill Road next to Conococheague Creek at about 4:50 p.m. Tuesday, said Washington County Sheriff's Deputy James M. Woods.

A stretch of the road was covered by 3 feet of water, he said.

Woods said motorists should not attempt to cross flooded roads because the depth of the water is difficult to determine.

"You never know because you can't see if, overnight, it washed part of the road out," Woods said. "If this had been (flowing) a little more, it could've moved the vehicle off the road."

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The Sharpsburg fire department on Monday night helped pull two people from an automobile caught in water on Burnside Bridge Road near Molly's Hole, according to a Washington County Emergency Services dispatcher.

Darryl Benner, deputy chief of the Sharpsburg Volunteer Fire Co., said no one was hurt, and he was not sure what happened to the vehicle.

"The car was left in the water, was left stranded, because the water was up to the license plates," Benner said.

Benner described the vehicle as a mid-size car, but he said drivers of even larger vehicles should be careful.

"A lot of people who have these SUVs think they're invincible, and a lot of time, as fate may have it, they find out the hard way," Benner said.

"Even when it looks like calm, still water that ... looks like it's not going to be a problem, people underestimate that, and it is a problem," he said.

Washington County Highway Department Director Ted Wolford said he did not expect roads that were still closed in the county Tuesday morning to reopen immediately.

"Everything on the Conococheague (Creek) is going to be a while - and the Antietam (Creek)," Wolford said.

The National Weather Service reported 1.51 inches of rain fell in Hagerstown from 7 a.m. Monday to 7 a.m. Tuesday. Williamsport saw 2.61 inches of rain during the same period, and Martinsburg, W.Va., received 2.47 inches of rain.

According to Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site at i4weather.net, the city received 1.90 inches of rain Monday and .10 inches of rain Tuesday.

"Yesterday, that was pretty much the worst one," Darrin Carter, who has lived near Gapland on and off for about 20 years, said of the storm.

Carter and his family worked Tuesday morning to repair damage to their Kaetzel Road driveway, which was washed out by the storm.

The Potomac River was expected to approach flood stage of 23 feet at Williamsport early today, the National Weather Service said. The river was expected to approach flood stage of 18 feet at Harpers Ferry, W.Va., late this morning.

Staff writer Brian Shappell contributed to this story.

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