Rain causes some flooding, outages RAINY RELIEF


A series of slow-moving thunderstorms dumped several inches of rain today on scattered sections of Maryland south and north of Baltimore, causing some road flooding and power outages.

The heaviest rains skirted Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where barely 0.13 inches was recorded through 7 a.m. But in Annapolis, about 1.62 inches had fallen. Weather service reporting stations said nearly 3.10 inches of rain fell at College Park, 3.32 inches at Damascus and 2.05 inches at Silver Spring.

Sgt. Barry Janney of the State Police barracks at College Park said the Capital Beltway near U.S. 1 was under several inches of water at the start of early-morning rush hour and traffic was slowed. The flooding there drained off by midmorning, Janney said.

State Police at North East in Cecil County said Md. 213 near the town of Cecil was temporarily flooded by a torrential downpour but that road eventually was cleared.

A spokesman for the National Weather Service at BWI said thunderstorms moved northeasterly through Maryland most of the morning. The storms were pushed by 10- to 15 mph winds.

Peggy Mulloy, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Gas & Electric Co., said approximately 3,700 homeowners and businesses had electrical power knocked out, primarily in the Earleigh Heights section of Anne Arundel County.

Mulloy said tree limbs and leaves, dry from the months-long drought in Maryland, quickly soaked up the rainwater and drooped onto power lines, knocking out the power.

"We have to be guided by the weather and if it becomes dangerous, our work will have to be interrupted," she said.

The sudden downpour today and promise of more rain through tomorrow "will certainly be of some help," with the severe drought that has plagued the state, said Tony Evans, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture.

The National Weather Service said rain and thunderstorms should continue through tonight with heavy downpours in scattered areas. The chance of rain and thunderstorms is 60 to 70 percent through tomorrow.

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