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Heavy rains cause floods, power loss in some areas

At times yesterday, the rain was quiet, providing an almost peaceful morning lullaby. Then, suddenly, it would pour down with knock-the-power-out, soak-the-basement vengeance.

Yesterday's soaking produced minor flooding, caused a motor vehicle accident that left a Carroll County man in critical condition, and left thousands temporarily without power.

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A flood watch was in effect until early this morning for the Baltimore region. Once that expires, the area will have seen the worst of the storms created by the collision of a cold front north of Maryland and a southwestern flow of air bringing in moisture from the Tennessee Valley.

Starting tomorrow, forecasters are calling for a weeklong reprieve.

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"After this weather passes, you'll have good weather for the next week. That's the good news," said John Newkirk, a program manager at the National Weather Service.

At its worst yesterday morning, more than 7,000 residents and businesses in southern Carroll County lost power, said Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman Linda Foy.

In Towson, an elderly woman and her dog got stuck in her vehicle in 2 feet of rising water as she drove on Ruxton Road just north of Lake Roland about 11 a.m. Police were able to get her out of her vehicle without incident, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a Baltimore County police spokesman.

The rain moved through the area in three waves, producing minor flash flooding because the ground was already saturated and creeks and streams were full from rain this week, forecasters said.

State police Sgt. Andrew Mays said flash flooding in low-lying areas in Carroll County subsided by early afternoon.

Across the region, there were scores of fender-benders on slick roads. In Baltimore County, 33 accidents were reported between 6 a.m. and noon yesterday, Vinson said.

In Union Bridge, William Brill, 60, of Reisterstown was driving a 1986 TVR convertible -- a British sports car -- on Middleburg Road when it hydroplaned and hit a 1999 Jeep Cherokee driven by Christopher Rau, 31, of Westminster, state police said. Brill was in critical condition at Maryland Shock Trauma Center, state police said. Rau was taken to Carroll County General Hospital. His condition was unknown.

Storm-related power outages swept through the region during the day, leaving about 2,300 customers without power in Baltimore County, 1,400 in the city and 2,100 in Howard County, Foy said.

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The largest outage was in Carroll County about 8:30 a.m. after tree branches fell on equipment at a Sykesville substation. Foy said power was restored to the 7,000 affected homes and businesses by 10 a.m.

The flood watch issued by the Weather Service for the Baltimore area, including Carroll, Howard, Harford and Anne Arundel counties and the Eastern Shore, was expected to expire about 2 a.m. today.


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