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Heavy rains cause flooding, dozens of road closures across Baltimore County

UPDATED: New list of road closures at bottom of this post.

A third day of heavy rains brought flash flooding, rescue efforts and dozens of road closures in Baltimore County on Wednesday, Sept. 7.

The list of road closures grew substantially Wednesday night as conditions got worse in many areas of the county. (The complete list is below.)

With a band of storms that could bring as many as 2 inches of rain per hour, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Baltimore County.

At one point, the flood warning for the western part of the county was supposed to be in effect until 6:30 p.m. Wednesday; the warning was to be in effect until 5 in the eastern portion. However, those warning were extended into Wednesday night.

Up to 6 inches of rainfall was expected, with flooding affecting a number of areas.

The bridge between Ellicott City and Oella -- the border between Baltimore and Howard counties -- on Frederick Road was closed because of flooding.

Four volunteer firefighters from the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department's Swiftwater Rescue Unit and two Baltimore County career firefighters from the swiftwater unit at the Texas station had to be rescued from the Patapsco River in that area Wednesday afternoon, according to Baltimore County police.

One of the firefighters from the Texas station was stranded in a tree surrounded by rushing water before rescue swimmers brought him to shore, according to Julia Hargrove, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County police.

“The water was just too swift,” said Doug Simpkins, captain of the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department. “It just overtook the boat.”

Simpkins added his team made no errors during the rescue attempt, and the rescue boat was seriously damaged.

Before he could provide any more details about the incident, his department received another call just before 10 a.m. this morning.

The units were responding to the report of a truck stranded in the water at Frederick and River roads, said Lynn Mullahey, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore County Fire Department.

The truck was never found, she said.

Mullahey said another member from the Texas station was taken to a nearby hospital and later released.

The road is now open, but there is mud on the roadway and equipment is being brought in to clear the road, Mullahey said late Wednesday afternoon from westernCatonsville.

The Arbutus unit had been busy for most of the day. In fact, just before 3 p.m. Wednesday, one of the two emergency vehicle bays at the Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department was completely empty.

The sight, according to one veteran volunteer at the station on Southwestern Boulevard, was extremely unusual.

Missing from their usual spaces among the department's eight pieces of equipment were two ambulances, a utility vehicle, a swiftwater rescue vehicle and an engine.

The equipment had been dispatched to various parts of western Baltimore County in response to calls for help because of flooding after heavy rains again pounded the region.

Extra volunteers who had been called in to man the station could not specify the exact locations of the vehicles.

They said the department had responded to call after call, being drawn farther and farther into the county.

Elise Armacost, chief of Public Safety Information for Baltimore County, said in a release that county rescue crews are "extremely busy."

"Crews are responding to numerous swiftwater rescue calls involving cars that have become trapped in standing water," Armacost said.

While no injuries were reported, Armacost urged citizens to avoid unnecessary driving.

"If you must drive, do not attempt to drive through standing water," the release said. "It takes as little as 6 inches of moving water to carry away a vehicle."

With the school day coming to a close, Baltimore County Public Schools spokesman Charles Herndon said the school system was "keeping a close eye" on the ongoing heavy rains.

"I know there are a couple areas that we've had reports of standing water, but at this point, it doesn't appear to be disrupting [bus service]," Herndon said.

As of Thursday morning, Baltimore County officials updated the list of road closures — some due to flooding, others due to downed trees or even, in some cases, to roads and bridges that have been washed out.

Catonsville and Arbutus area:
• Hammonds Ferry Road and I-895
• Annapolis Road and the Anne Arundel County line
• Tulip Avenue and Daisy Avenue
• Tulip Avenue and Myrtle Avenue

Woodlawn area:
• Unit block of Dogwood Drive
• Marriottsville Road between Wards Chapel and Powells roads
• Marriottsville Road at Granite Road
• 3300 block of Granite Road
• Windsor Mill and Mayfield roads
• 6600 block Security Boulevard
• 7800 block Dogwood Road
• Franklintown and Dogwood roads
• Security Boulevard and Kernan Road
• 2600 block Offutt Road and Village Green Drive (bridge collapse)
• Dogwood Road and Hollifield Road
• 6700 block Dogwood Road
• Gwyndale and Virginia
• Holshire and Branchleigh roads
• Essex Road and Liberty Road
• Buckingham and Liberty Road
• Gwynn Oak Avenue closed from city line
• Keithmont Road and Keithmont Court
• 8900 block Wrights Mill Road (road washed out/reopening may take days)
• Rolling and Windsor Mill roads
• Windsor Mill and Woodlawn roads
• Dogwood Road and Little Creek to Park Road

Owings Mills/Reisterstown area:
• Timber Grove between Owings Mills Boulevard and Long Lake Drive
• Gunpowder Road between Falls Road and Mount Carmel Road
• Unit block of Sunny King Drive
• Reisterstown Road (both directions) at Cherryvale Shopping Center
• Lyons Mill Road and Deer Park Road
• Reisterstown Road and Mt Wilson Road
• Crestline Road and Bookline Road (tree down)
• Gores Mill between Nicodemus and Cockeysmill is closed (bridge washed away)
• Uppermill Road and Ironbolt
• Falls Road and Gunpowder Road
• Milford and Scotts Hill Road (bridge washed out)
• Lyons Mill and Deer Park Road
• Church and Berrymans roads
• High Meadow and Sacred Heart Road
• Owings Mills Blvd and Bonita Avenue
• Butler and Longnecker roads
• Butler and Mantua Mill roads
• Park Heights and Caves Road
• Route 140 and Franklin Boulevard
• Dolfield and Owings Mills Boulevard

Pikesville area
• Buckingham and Prince George roads
• Queen Ann between Essex and Villa Nova

Cockeysville and North County:
• Shawan Road at I-83 likely to be shut down
• York Road south of Exit 33
• Old Bosley between Dulaney Valley and Pot Spring roads
• Falls Road and Resh Mill Road
• Middletown Road
• Pocock and Middletown Road
• Green Road and Harford County Line
• York Road and Hillside Road
• York Road and Railroad Road
• Masemore and Gunpowder roads
• Freeland Road
• Blue Mount and Monkton roads
• Kirkwood Shop Road and Evenshaw
• York Road and Railroad
• York and Beaver Dam roads
• Falls and Miller roads
• Thornton Mill and Rocky Hill
• Paper Mill and Green Branch
• Old Bosley and Pot Spring roads
• Falls and Shawan roads
• Wilson and Hicks roads
• York Road and Miller Road
• Wiseberg and Graystone roads
• Sparks and York roads
• Falls Road and Hillside Road
• Paper Mill and Poplar Hill roads
• 800 block Western Run Road (road washed away and bridge needs inspection)
• York and Stablers Church Road (road collapsed at second metal bridge)
• Stablersville near Walker Road

Parkville area:
• Cromwell Bridge Road at Loch Raven

White Marsh area:
• 4620 Forge Road (sink hole)
• Campbell Boulevard  (underneath I-95)

Essex area:
• Route 40 at Allender
• Orems and Golden Ring Road
• Route 40 at the Gunpowder

North Point area:
• Sollers Point and Pine Street
• Liberty Parkway and Dunmanway
• Northpoint Road and Trappe Road
• Northpoint Road and Poplar Road
• Brentwood Avenue and Monumental

For a complete list of closures, visit http://www.md511.org/eventlist.aspx

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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