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Flood waters receding, but warnings remain in effect

Four inches of rain caused numerous problems

Four inches of rain caused numerous problems

May 13, 2008|By HEATHER KEELS

TRI-STATE -- The heavy rains that dumped more than four inches of precipitation on parts of Washington County over the past two days led to numerous problems Monday, including flooded basements, rising creeks and rivers, and impassable roads, local officials said.

While today's forecast calls for a sunny break in the rain, with a high near 70 in Hagerstown, flooding remains a possibility in some areas as runoff continues to make its way into rivers, according to the National Weather Service.

Flood warnings continue this afternoon in Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland and in Berkeley County, W.Va. The weather service reported that flooding was still taking place at Fairview, Point of Rocks and Frederick, Md., and Martinsburg, W.Va.

A flood warning remains in effect until this evening for low-lying areas along Conococheague Creek, including Wishard Road and parts of Md. 63 north of Huyetts Crossroads, according to the National Weather Service. Conococheague Creek was predicted to rise to nearly 9 feet early today before dropping below its flood stage of 8 feet by this afternoon.

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At 9:30 a.m. today, the weather service reported Conococheague Creek at Fairview was at 8.2 feet.

Flooding also was reported Monday at Antietam Creek near Sharpsburg, according to the National Weather Service.

Eight roads in Washington County were not passable due to high water Monday afternoon, highway department officials said. They were: Mills Road, Lehmans Mill Road, Leiters Mill Road, Battletown Road, Beaver Creek Road at Cool Hollow Road, Clopper Road, Trovinger Mill Road and Old Roxbury Road at the Alternate U.S. 40 end.

Washington County Emergency Services received 13 storm-related calls Sunday and seven flooding-related calls Monday, dispatchers said. Most were routine calls involving requests for fire officials to inspect flooded basements, a spokesman for the county's central dispatch said. There were no calls for flooded vehicles or water rescues, he said.

In Berkeley County, W.Va., Opequon Creek near Martinsburg crested at nearly 3 feet above the 10-foot flood stage about 8 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

As of 9:30 a.m. today, the creek was at 10.5 feet, but was expected to drop below flooding levels by today. A flood warning remains in effect until late tonight.

Rainfall measurements in Berkeley and Morgan counties ranged from 1.97 inches in Berkeley Springs, W.Va., and 2.3 inches in Falling Waters, W.Va., to 2.38 inches in Paw Paw, W.Va., and 2.84 inches at the Eastern West Virginia Regional Airport, just south of Martinsburg.

The weather service reported minor flooding was taking place in the Potomac River basin above and below Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

In Franklin County, Pa., Coldspring Road in Fayetteville, Pa., was closed early Monday due to flooding.

The National Weather Service issued a flood warning for urban areas and small streams. The Antietam Creek rose sharply and rushed under the Wharf Road bridge, which was already closed for repairs.

The traditionally problematic stormwater system in the Borough of Waynesboro, however, held up overnight Sunday. The outfall along Cemetery Avenue flowed steadily Monday morning, but had several feet to go before water would flood area yards. Several steps were taken to reduce the likelihood of flooding in the south end of Waynesboro.

Rainfall totals for Sunday and Monday:

Hagerstown 2.68 inches

Clear Spring 2.2 inches

Boonsboro 3.45 inches

Smithsburg 4.5 inches

Martinsburg, W.Va. 2.75 inches

Chambersburg, Pa. 1.38 inches

Waynesboro, Pa. 2.94 inches

Source: Local weather observers

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