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Last of flood warnings for Tri-State lifted following Thursday's storms

Heavy rains created problems for Tri-State residents

April 29, 2011
  • The parking lot and other areas of Yingling's Golf Center off Jefferson Boulevard east of Hagerstown were flooded Thursday morning.
Photo submitted by Scott Hammond

Roads were flooded, trees were felled and Tri-State area residents were warned to look out for tornadoes when heavy storms moved through the region Thursday morning.

The final local flood warning still in effect, issued for Antietam Creek in the Sharpsburg area, had been lifted by 8 a.m. Friday.

The creek was at flood stage of 8 feet as of 3 a.m. Friday, the weather service said. The waters are expected to recede throughout the day.

A flood warning for Opequon Creek in Martinsburg, W.Va., was lifted earlier Friday morning, the weather service said.

The storms dumped up to 3.28 inches of rain in Washington County, giving some local landmarks like golf courses a different look when people woke up Thursday.

Dave Grier, owner of Yingling's Golf Course off Jefferson Boulevard, said he had to close on Thursday after his driving range and parking lot were flooded.

"We have a completely flooded driving range, and our parking lot is inaccessible," he said. "We'll be closed today (Thursday). We'll have to see how much it recedes later tonight."

On Leiters Mill Road north of Hagerstown, rescue personnel used a boat to free a tow-truck driver who got stuck Thursday morning in high water near a one-lane bridge over Antietam Creek. The water crested the bank of the creek and flooded a portion of the road with waist-deep water.

Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland, and Jefferson and Berkeley counties in West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, as well as other jurisdictions in the region, were under tornado warnings when the storms passed through, said Calvin Meadows, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

Unlike parts of the southern United States, where severe tornadoes cut wide swaths of destruction and left at least 269 people dead with more likely, there was no immediate signs Thursday that there were any local area tornadoes, weather service officials said.

But there were about 40 tornado warnings across Maryland, Eastern West Virginia and parts of Virginia during the storms, and weather officials may not be able to determine whether any tornadoes touched down until later in the weekend, said weather service meteorologist Kevin Witt.

Radar indicated a possible circular movement of air over Frederick County during the storms, but weather officials had not received any reports of possible tornado damage there as of Thursday afternoon, Meadows said.



Rain, flooding

The severe weather in the Tri-State area was caused by a moist unstable air mass centered over the region. A cold front then passed through, triggering the storms, Meadows said.

He said the severe weather was on its way out Thursday, and the forecast calls for partly sunny skies today and sunny conditions Saturday.

Hagerstown received 2.42 inches of rain in the storms, according to Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer's website at i4weather.net. And Smithsburg received 3.28 inches of rain, according to SmithsburgWeather.com.

Flash flooding was reported in Cavetown, and three-quarter-inch hail was reported in Allegany County, Md., Meadows said.

In Hagerstown, Memorial Boulevard under the overpass near the intersection with Maryland Avenue was closed because of standing water on the roadway.

There was also standing water on Broadfording Road at Md. 63, as well as on the Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road. And mud covered a stretch of the Leitersburg-Smithsburg Road at Leitersburg following a mudslide. Crews cleared most of it Thursday.

A tree fell on Dam No. 4 Road, and there was water also reported on Old Forge Road and Little Antietam Road at Leitersburg.

 

Staff Writer Dan Dearth contributed to this story.

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