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Heavy rain soaks area, closes roads and bridges in W.Va.

April 21, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

TRI-STATE -- Scattered showers on Monday combined with heavy rainfall Sunday to thoroughly soak the region and cause flooding that closed several roads and bridges in the Martinsburg, W.Va., area, emergency personnel and meteorologists said.

The heavy rainfall brings the rainfall total so far this year to more than 15 inches in Hagerstown, several inches above the normal total at this point, according to data from Greg Keefer's Hagerstown weather station.

The rainy weather is expected to continue with isolated showers today, but Wednesday should be sunny and warmer, according to forecasts from the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning Monday for the Opequon Creek near Martinsburg, where flooding was expected to continue until this evening.

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The creek rose above its flood stage of 10 feet at about 6 a.m. Monday and continued to rise to a peak of about 12.5 feet at about 4:30 p.m., according to data from the U.S. Geological Survey Web site.

At its highest point Monday, water from the creek was approaching the W.Va. 9 bridge in Baker Heights, the NWS said.

Berkeley County Emergency Services dispatchers said they received calls throughout the day Monday from drivers with flooded engines and stalled vehicles near bridges throughout the county. Several trucks stuck near the W.Va. 9 bridge had to be left there and were submerged by the rising water, dispatchers said.

Emergency and rescue officials advised drivers to avoid trying to cross any roadways covered in water.

As of 6:30 p.m., five roads remained closed by the West Virginia Department of Highways, Berkeley County Emergency Services dispatchers said:

  • Locust Grove Road

  • Mccubbins Hollow

  • Back Creek Valley Road at the intersection with Tuscarora Pike

  • Parksgap Bridge west of Cannon Hill

  • Golf Course Road at the entrance to the Stonebridge Golf Club

    Significant rises are expected on the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers through midweek, but they are expected to remain below flood stage, according to the National Weather Service.




    Rainfall totals for Sunday and Monday:

    Hagerstown: 2.79 inches

    Martinsburg, W.Va.: 3.26 inches

    Waynesboro, Pa.: 3.1 inches

    Sources: Weather watchers Greg Keefer in Hagerstown, Todd Toth in Waynesboro and a National Weather Service spotter in Martinsburg

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