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Flood watch canceled

May 07, 2009|By DAVE McMILLION

TRI-STATE -- The National Weather Service early Thursday canceled a flood watch that had been in effect in the Tri-State area as rainfall that has soaked the area this week has diminished.

Despite heavy rain that was pounding Hagerstown at times Wednesday night, weather forecasters were not expecting waters on the Potomac River to go above flood stage in local towns along the river Thursday or Friday.

However, water was starting to cover Md. 63 in the Broadfording area in Washington County and over Big Pool Road near Four Locks in the Clear Spring area as of 9 p.m., according to a 911 dispatcher.

Water also was flowing over Memorial Boulevard near a city shed in Hagerstown, the dispatcher said.

About eight-tenths of an inch of rain had fallen in Hagerstown Wednesday as of 9 p.m., National Weather Service spokesman Calvin Meadows said.

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Water levels in the Potomac River are expected to create a "secondary rise" Thursday and Friday following another round of precipitation that was moving through the area Wednesday, Meadows said.

Water levels in the river already have crested once earlier this week from steady rain.

The Potomac River spilled slightly over flood stage Tuesday in Paw Paw, W.Va., but the river crested below flood stage at Hancock Tuesday.

On Thursday, the Potomac River is supposed to crest again in Hancock at about 16.7 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage in Hancock is 30 feet. The river was at 15.06 feet at 9:15 a.m. Thursday, according to the weather service.

Sometime Friday, the Potomac River is expected to be below the 23-foot flood-stage level at Williamsport, but above the town's 15-foot caution stage, Meadows said. The river was at 13.04 feet at 6:15 a.m. Thursday, the weather service reported.

Caution stage is when it is hazardous to be on the river, Meadows said.

Meadows did not have any projections for Harpers Ferry, W.Va., but he said levels there are expected to stay below the flood stage of 18 feet. At 6:15 a.m. Thursday, the river was at 12.82 feet, the weather service reported.

Although it was raining heavily at times Wednesday night in Hagerstown, it was not causing concern.

"This rain is moving at a pretty fair clip," Meadows said.

Light rain was expected to follow, Meadows said.

Thursday's forecast calls for a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms, according to the National Weather Service.

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