Flash floods swamp Mid-Atlantic

Hundreds of homes and businesses damaged as waves of tropical moisture spill across region

ELLICOTT CITY, MD | September 7, 2011


Flash floods in Ellicott City, MD, Wednesday closed roads, reminding some residents of Hurricane Agnes in 1972. The pole to the right measures high water marks of previous floods.
Credit: DNN/Jim Skillington

The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee produced slow-moving thunderstorms Wednesday that led to flash floods across the Mid-Atlantic region Wednesday, closing highways and schools and reminding some long-time residents of flooding that accompanied Hurricane Agnes in 1972.

The mid-day storms dumped as much as seven-inches of rain onto already waterlogged ground, toppling trees, knocking out power, and flooding hundreds of homes and businesses. In Washington, DC, sandbags were distributed to residents and business owners as Interstate highways were closed due to high water.

In historic Ellicott City, MD, devastated by Agnes, the Tiber River - usually a placid stream -- jumped its banks sending more than a foot of water rushing down Main Street flooding street-level businesses. Main Street remained closed Wednesday night at the Baltimore County line as the Patapsco River lapped at the top of a highway bridge.

A number of swiftwater rescues were reported by the Baltimore County Emergency Management agency and States of Emergency were declared in Bradford County, PA, and Broome County, NY. The Pa. National Guard was called into Little Meadows to rescue trapped residents acccording to Accuweather.com.

In central Pennsylvania, forecasters were predicting the crest of flooding along the Swatara Creek near Hershey would set a new record as flood waters ran down streets in York and Lancaster County. School bus drivers in Lancaster County returned students to school Wednesday afternoon when they were unable to drop off school children because of the high waters.

Forecasters were warning the heavy rains could result in weekend flooding along the Susquehanna River in northern Maryland.


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