By Frank D. Roylance, The Baltimore Sun
6:46 PM EDT, August 15, 2011
Last week's drought conditions seemed a distant memory Monday as Central Maryland shook off more heavy rains and braced for a fourth day of showers and storms on Tuesday.
The forecast called for a 60 percent chance of rain overnight, and 40 percent on Tuesday as a slow-moving low crawled up the coast toward New England. At few tenths of an inch were likely, with a potential for heavier rain in thunderstorms.
In all, nearly 2.5 inches of rain had fallen at The Baltimore Sun's weather station in downtown Baltimore between Saturday and Monday afternoon. More than 4 inches were recorded in White Marsh, more than 5 inches fell in Bishopville, on the Eastern Shore, and an unofficial weather observer in Elkton recorded almost 6 inches there by early Monday.
Another deluge over Baltimore on Monday morning sent emergency workers to Patapsco Avenue, where motorists were stranded by high water, and to Baltimore's Cherry Hill neighborhood, where residents had to be evacuated after water flowed into basements.
Flooded rails Monday also delayed some Amtrak and MARC train service between Washington and Baltimore.
Chief Kevin Cartwright, a Baltimore Fire Department spokesman, said crews and housing officials helped relocate 11 people from homes in the 3400 block of Spelman Road in Cherry Hill. He said residents of one home — a mother and four children — were evacuated because 5 feet of water flooded their basement. Nearby homes were showing signs of water in the basements, Cartwright said, and six other people were evacuated as a precaution.
The rain, the spokesman said, "created a dramatic weather event in the city." He said fire and police boats were sent to Cherry Hill but were not needed. No injuries were reported.
Cartwright said fire crews also responded to reports of six vehicles stalled in several feet of water in the 600 block of Patapsco Ave. He said the Fire Department stationed a truck at the scene to prevent other vehicles from driving on Patapsco Avenue, but the stranded drivers needed to arrange with private tow trucks to get their vehicles out. Several drivers had to be helped out of their vehicles, Cartwright said.
Cartwright said standing water was also reported around Potee Street and Patapsco Avenue.
Shortly after noon, the Maryland Transit Administration announced that MARC Penn Line service between Washington and Baltimore was temporarily suspended because of "high water" over the tracks. Service resumed before 1 p.m. The MTA advised passengers to expect delays on all MARC trains between Baltimore and Washington. Amtrak warned that service between Washington and Boston would be delayed because of high water and flooding along the route.
Commuter traffic southbound Monday morning on the Jones Falls Expressway was halted about 9:30 a.m. when a thunderstorm toppled a tree just north of the 28th Street exit. The tree blocked all three lanes. Traffic began moving again just before 11 a.m. after the tree was cut up and removed.
In Anne Arundel County, fire crews responded to reports of two vehicles stuck in about 18 inches of standing water in the 4900 block of Belgrove Road about 8 a.m., according to Capt. James Rostec. In all, crews helped four adults and one child get from stalled vehicles to dry land, he said.
The Anne Arundel County Fire Department also responded to reports of two Brooklyn-area homes with flooded basements, one in the first block of Cedar Hill Road and one in the 100 block of Cedar Hill Road, but no one had to be evacuated, Rostec said.
In Howard County, the Department of Fire and Rescue Services responded to two reports of lightning strikes at area homes. Crews responded at 11:30 p.m. Sunday to a house in the 12000 block of Scaggsville Road in Fulton that had a fire in the ceiling and attic, said spokeswoman Jackie Cutler. One person had evacuated. The second fire started about 1:15 p.m. Monday in the breezeway of a house in the 2200 block of Mount View Road in Marriottsville, Cutler said. The owners were not home. Two firefighters were treated for dehydration at Howard County General Hospital.
After some dry weather Wednesday and Thursday, forecasters said, the rain, a bit less intense than this weekend's, will be back.
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