Flooding not as bad as feared in Mount Washington Mill area

Not unexpectedly, the Mount Washington Mill shopping and business area where the Western Run and Jones Falls converge was evacuated Wednesday due to heavy rain. Baltimore City evacuated several businesses and blocked off Falls Road at Smith Avenue and the Kelly Avenue Bridge to motorists and pedestrians as a precaution.

And Meadow Mill Athletic Center, 3600 Clipper Mill Road, "did take quite a lot of water," said Kevin Cartwright, a Baltimore City Fire Department spokesman.

There was no word on overall flooding in the Clipper Mill area, but flooding in the usually flood-prone Mount Washington Mill area was less than expected, Cartwright said.

"We really dodged one this time," said John Cadigan, general manager of the Meadowbrook Aquatic and Fitness Center under the Cottonworth Avenue bridge and right near the Kelly Avenue bridge. Watching TV reports about major flooding in Ellicott City and Cockeysville, Cadigan, who has been in the area for 23 years, was astonished that the same didn't happen in his area.

"We are really lucky," he said.

Cadigan said he voluntarily closed the Meadowbrook pool based on his own protocol, which calls for closing if water rises to the steel frame under the bridges. The water did rise that high and the pool closed at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, but reopened Thursday morning, Cadigan said. The nearby post office also was open, he said.

"We pulled the trigger before the city did," Cadigan said.

At the Whole Foods supermarket in the Mount Washington Mill, water crept up to the door, Cartwright said.

Falls Road and Smith and Kelly Avenues were still barricaded Thursday morning, but Cartwright said the worst might be over, because forecasts call for only intermittent rain over the next day and a half.

Cartwright urged motorists not to drive in more than a foot of standing water because cars could be swept away.

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