A time lapse view from Federal Hill as a storm builds over Baltimore.
Vehicles were trapped in floodwaters across much of the Baltimore region Thursday night after storms produced torrential downpours and flash flooding.
National Weather Service meteorologists said storms dropped a quick 2 inches of rain in some areas. In the Mount Washington area of North Baltimore, nearly an inch and a half of rain fell in just 20 minutes, meteorologists said.
Authorities said a person was rescued from a vehicle trapped in 4 feet of floodwaters in the Stevenson area of Baltimore County, and the Whole Foods store in Mount Washington was evacuated over concerns of flooding in the nearby Jones Falls.
Widespread flooding made roads impassable in parts of eastern Baltimore County, the National Weather Service said. Multiple vehicles were reported to be stuck in floodwaters on Honeygo Boulevard in White Marsh. A vehicle was reported stranded on its side in floodwaters on Pulaski Highway near Big Gunpowder Falls.
On the other side of the county, a vehicle was reported trapped in floodwaters near Garrison Forest and Greenspring Valley roads.
The flash flood warnings continued through 8 p.m. Rain was forecast to continue through the evening and overnight hours.
Severe storm warnings were meanwhile issued in parts of Baltimore City and Baltimore, Harford and Anne Arundel counties. The weather service said the storms were capable of producing 60 mph wind gusts and quarter-sized hail.
In Harford County, downed power lines and a fire were reported south of Bel Air near Whitaker Mill Road. Large tree limbs were downed across much of the county.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said 870 customers were without power across its service territory as of 11 p.m.
A flash flood watch remained in effect through the evening across Baltimore and the surrounding counties, including Anne Arundel, Howard, Carroll, Baltimore and Harford. Any downpours could quickly cause waters to rise in streams and urban areas, meteorologists warned, especially because the ground is already saturated from recent rain.
A flash flood watch is a precautionary alert indicating that conditions could develop that lead to flash flooding. Flash flooding can cause hazardous driving conditions, and drivers are urged not to drive into floodwaters, which can easily carry vehicles away.
The heavy rain comes as a cold front approaches, meeting intensely humid air over the region. Dew points were in the mid-70s on Thursday morning in Baltimore, indicating abundant moisture in the air that made temperatures in the lower to mid-80s feel more like the 90s.
The National Weather Service wrote on Twitter at 10 p.m. that “most thunderstorms are moving away” from the region, but there’s the potential of a stray shower or storm overnight and that conditions should remain muggy with patchy fog “until a cold front moves through very late tonight.”
Dry weather is expected Friday and into early next week.
Patchy dense fog exists across portions of central VA, eastern WV, & western MD early this AM. Allow extra time for travel in those locations. Afterwards, expecting a partly sunny day with highs 85-90F, & the possibility of a few PM showers/t-storms in central VA & southern MD. pic.twitter.com/JsdUE89BrJ