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Flooding said likely along Potomac

April 03, 2005|by WANDA T. WILLIAMS

wandaw@herald-mail.com

TRI-STATE - Saturday's rainfall brought scattered cases of minor flooding throughout the area, forcing authorities to temporarily close some roads and put out high-water signs to warn motorists, officials throughout the Tri-State said.

Flooding is expected in several areas along the Potomac River today and Monday, according to a statement from the National Weather Service.

Moderate flooding is forecast along the Potomac at Shepherdstown, W.Va., from this morning into Monday, according to the statement. Flood stage at Shepherdstown is 15 feet.

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At Harpers Ferry, W.Va., the Potomac is forecast to be near flood stage early Monday, according to the statement. Flood stage at Harpers Ferry is 18 feet, and water might begin to inundate low-lying service roads on the Shenandoah River side of Harpers Ferry due to backwater effects if water rises to flood stage, according to the statement.

The Potomac was also expected to rise above flood stage this morning at Paw Paw, W.Va., and this afternoon at Point of Rocks, Md. Flood stage is 25 feet at Paw Paw and 16 feet at Point of Rocks.

A flood watch was issued Friday in response to a low-pressure system that brought heavy showers from the Gulf of Mexico, said Brian Guyer, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

While it rained steadily for several hours until just before noon Saturday, a flood watch remained in effect through Saturday night for Western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle, Guyer said.

Hagerstown received about 1.36 inches of rain by 7:15 p.m. Saturday, according to local weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site, www.i4weather.net.

"We closed off Memorial Boulevard for about two hours, and we passed a few basement flooding calls on to fire and rescue," said Wayne Bockstanz, a dispatcher with the Hagerstown Police Department.

Rising waters from Antietam Creek created minor flooding on Mount Aetna, Battletown and Leiters Mill roads, said Ted Wolford, director of the Washington County Highway Department.

"At this point, it won't be as bad as last weekend, but we'll have to wait and see what comes down from Pennsylvania," Wolford said.

In West Virginia, there were no reported incidents of any serious flooding Saturday, an official said.

In Chambersburg, Pa., the rain brought some minor flooding to Mt. Pleasant Road in Fayetteville, Pa., and Loop Road in Guilford Township, Pa., a Franklin County Department of Emergency Services representative said.

Showers are expected to continue through today.

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