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Downed tree shuts down light rail in North Baltimore

Flooding throughout the area with some businesses along the Jones Falls evacuated. (Kevin Richardson / Baltimore Sun video)

Although Thursday and Friday morning provided Baltimore with a break from the rain, flooding and saturated land continued to cause transportation problems across the region.

Friday morning, a tree fell on the Light RailLink tracks near the Mount Washington station, cutting off service in both directions between the Falls Road and North Avenue stations. And some roads in Baltimore and Carroll counties remained closed after flooding damaged them earlier in the week.

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The Maryland Transit Administration was providing shuttle bus service between five affected light rail stations Friday as crews worked to remove the tree. MTA spokesman Paul Shepard said buses would stop at the Falls Road, Mount Washington, Cold Spring Lane, Woodberry and North Avenue stations, attempting the same schedule the light rail follows.

Shepard expected the portion of the light rail to be closed throughout the day Friday as crews worked to remove the tree and repair power lines.

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The National Weather Service warned trees could fall more easily because the ground is so saturated.Several roads in Greater Baltimore were still closed Friday because of flooding earlier in the week. Mount Carmel Road (Maryland Route 137) remained closed Friday beyond Pleasant Meadow Road after a bridge over Peggy’s Run was washed out by high water.

And in Carroll County, Maryland Route 852 was closed between Lucabaugh Mill Road and Blue Heron Drive, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation.

The Mount Washington Light RailLink Station is closed due to emergency repairs. Tree branches fell on overhead wires above the tracks just south of the Northern Parkway exit onto I-83.
The Mount Washington Light RailLink Station is closed due to emergency repairs. Tree branches fell on overhead wires above the tracks just south of the Northern Parkway exit onto I-83. (Algerina Perna / Baltimore Sun)

It’s been one of the rainiest summers in recorded history in Baltimore. And despite a dry start to July, this month is already the area’s wettest July on record with more than 15 inches of rain. The previous monthly record, set in 1889, was 11.03 inches.

The new record will likely climb as rain is expected to continue through the end of the month.

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Showers and storms were in the forecast Friday afternoon and evening, with a flash flood watch for the area from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. Although Saturday was expected to be dry, more rain is possible Sunday through Thursday.

The month of July got off to its second-driest start on record, but by Tuesday morning the Baltimore region was nearing a mark for its second-most rainfall in any month.

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