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Conditions vary from dry to pumping out water

June 29, 2006

· In Hagerstown, wastewater operations manager Donald Barton said the heavy rains temporarily overwhelmed the wastewater treatment plant.

Over 9 1/2 hours, the plant dumped 530,000 gallons of partially treated water into Antietam Creek. The plant can handle up to 32 million gallons of water of day, but at one point, a rate of about 34 million to 35 million gallons a day was flowing into the plant, Barton said.

Two manholes also came off during the rains when the water flow exceeded capacity, Barton said. About 7,500 gallons of water and untreated sewage spilled, he said.

"They basically popped their tops for a bit," he said.

According to Barton, the city has reported the spills to Maryland Department of the Environment. Though the city has paid fines in the past because of spills, Barton said the weekend's rains were extreme.

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"We're not the only facility in the state that's had problems this weekend. I can assure you that there have been quite a few," Barton said.

·In Clear Spring, Mayor Paul Hose said he was unaware of any major damage.

· In Funkstown, Mayor Robert Kline said the town's two maintenance workers were busy trying to pump water out of Antietam Village trailer park flooded from the heavy rains.

"Our pumping stations are flurried," he said. "We're doing the best we can."

· In Hancock, Town Manager David Smith said, "We were exceptionally lucky here."

He said that the Potomac River was measured at more than 5 feet Tuesday afternoon, which was not a concern considering the town normally floods when the river is measured at about 28 feet.

· In Keedysville, Mayor Lee Brandenburg said the town was "pretty much dry" Wednesday after the heavy rains.

"The stream that runs through town is up, but it's not flooding," he said.

· In Sharpsburg, Mayor Hal Spielman said Burnside Bridge Road was closed because of flooding and some residents were dealing with basement flooding.

· In Smithsburg, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said the heavy rains caused small streams that run through and around the town to overflow, sending the water, along with mud and debris onto the town's roads. By Wednesday, she said, the water had receded for the most part, and town workers were busy cleaning the debris and mud throughout the day.

"Everything is getting back to normal," she said.

· In Williamsport, the Potomac River was not causing problems for the town Wednesday, said Jamie Hill, a clerk for the town.

One resident's "basement has been filling up with water," Hill said, but added that she didn't know of anyone else with significant flooding issues.

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