People across Frederick County reported seeing what appeared to be flash flooding conditions as an intense storm system rolled into the region on Tuesday evening, with storm drains overwhelmed in the deluge, cars submerged in rushing streams and buildings surging with rainwater.

A flood warning was put in place until 11:45 p.m. as some roads were overtaken by water and first responders were called to numerous water rescues. According to the National Weather Service, 2.3 inches of rain was reported at Frederick Municipal Airport on Tuesday. A weather spotter in Petersville, however, reported a much higher total — about 6.7 inches — around 9 p.m. Excessive runoff from heavy rainfall was causing flooding of small creeks and streams, streets and other low-lying spots.

In a five-hour time period, Frederick County Emergency Communications Center received more than 300 calls to 9-1-1. More than 60 rescues were made by fire and rescue personnel and law enforcement for people stranded in high water.

After two days of rainstorms, the National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch into Wednesday morning. The Frederick Police Department and other emergency services encouraged residents to stay indoors for the duration of the storm.

The weather service will continue to evaluate flood warnings and watches, said Isha Renta, a meteorologist at the Sterling, Virginia, office. The weather service has forecast a chance of rain and continued afternoon thunderstorms through Friday.

“Right now the main concern that we have, based on our forecast, is for Thursday, with plenty of rainfall in the area,” Renta said.

Because the ground is saturated, flooding concerns are heightened, she said.

Renta said the weather has been caused by a stalled front that’s moving north and south over the region that continues to trigger the afternoon storms.

“It’s going to be stalling over us for the next few days,” Renta said.

On Tuesday, the primary reports from weather spotters in the county were about floodwaters and road closings. Renta expected to know more about other damage such as downed trees and other debris on Wednesday.

Tom Clingman, chief development officer of the YMCA of Frederick County, said he saw cars nearly completely submerged in water in some of the city’s alleys.

Clingman said after the more than a million dollars’ worth of damage the September 2015 storm caused the YMCA building when 12 feet of floodwater crashed through the lower level of the building, the organization implemented many preventive measures. But they were overwhelmed on Tuesday night.

“We were told that was a 100-year storm,” the development officer said around 9 p.m. “Obviously, it’s less than three years later and we are having another one. It’s not as bad as 2015 at the moment, but we don’t know how it will shake out.”

Floodwaters were more than 2 feet deep on North Market Street in Frederick near the YMCA around 8:45 p.m. A photo on social media showed the building’s entire first floor flooded, including the pool. The flood planks that were installed after the 2015 storm held back about 3½ feet of water, according to Clingman.

Between six and 12 cars in the YMCA parking lot were submerged in water up to their door handles, and Clingman estimated the nonprofit likely lost four buses to the flooding. A group of people waiting to be picked up from swim team practice and dance class sheltered on the second floor of the building until they could be safely picked up.

The YMCA will be closed on Wednesday, Clingman said, and officials will decide when it can open again after assessing the damage. The Early Learning Center was flooded with 6 to 8 inches of water, and Clingman said the organization was working on finding a temporary space for childcare on Wednesday.

Germantown-based WeatherBug tweeted that one of the company’s employees picked up a 2½-inch chunk of hail near U.S. 15 and West Patrick Street around 7:30 p.m. Jefferson also experienced large amounts of hail, according to resident Sheri White.

Around 8 p.m., the rain was heavy enough to overwhelm a storm drain just outside the rear entrance to the William R. Talley Recreation Center in Frederick, water started to flow beneath the back doors and flood the lower-level fitness center lobby. As hail briefly hit the recreation center’s windows, half a dozen clients weighed the decision to wait for the storm to possibly break or brave the elements.

Emergency vehicles circled the Baker Park area. Police and fire and rescue personnel appeared to either direct or willfully ignore cars traveling the wrong direction on the ordinarily one-way North Bentz Street.

Several roads in the county were closed by high floodwaters, and debris from the storm closed Md. 180 at Wye Creek Drive.

Scattered power failures were reported in Frederick County by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. At 9:30 p.m., 150 customers in the county were without power.

News-Post staffers Danielle E. Gaines, Kate Masters, Cameron Dodd and Geordie Wilson and contributed to this report.

Follow Hannah Dellinger on Twitter: @hdellingermedia.

(29) comments


Where's the new mayor?!! I am a supporter, but this is a crisis and he seems to be absent. A shame and a shock!


One thing I noticed walking along Patrick Street from Downtown to Giant Eagle were blocked with debris. Someone shoveled out the ones across from China Garden and the schools, but many others were completely covered in long grasses recently mowed. That most likely made the flooding worse, as water could not get into the underground conduits.


FNP - Photo #3 is not of North Market Street (no overpass on that road, to my knowledge). My guess is Rosemont Avenue, looking east toward the intersection of Rosemont and Schley Avenue, with the U.S. 15 overpass in the distance.


Good eye, glen, I'd say you're right, right down to the leaning "No Stopping Or Standing" sign at the left. Hey, it's the FNP. In the follow up article it was written "Maryland Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford stopped by The Y with Mayor Randy McClement." before tjkloc caught it and it was corrected.


Sending my positive vibes to you all from Houston. Pro-tip: Amazon delivers 'Shockwave' disinfectant next day for free. Spray it on EVERYTHING that touched flood water (inside your home, basements, etc), and do it several times. Get rid of anything that touched the water, or at very least (if not porous) let it soak in bleach water for a few hours. Feel for you guys!


It started to rain about 10 of 7 here, last night.  About 5 of we started to get large hail, which lasted 7 - 8 minutes, then just heavy rain.  Couldn't see across the street.  Lasted until about 9:30.  More rain today and we had a lot on Saturday and Sunday.  With more rain on the way through Saturday and a brief stop on Sunday with more rain on Monday.


They’re towing flooded cars out of the Home Depot lot on 40. Mud everywhere.


That was a horrendous weather incident last night, and no doubt more flooding is to come. The reporting by this newspaper this morning is pathetically inadequate and does not serve the citizens of Frederick County as it should.




I would like the FNP to report the official rainfall inches for Frederick, rather than unreliable measures.


Totally agree. Apparently the new owners do not really care that Frederick deserves better coverage, like it used to have.


Another 100 year flood? Isn't that the 3rd one in the last 40 years?


But there is no climate change!


Too bad city leaders or planners did not have foresight to take steps to prevent flooding of the “Y”. Seems the building should have hade elevated foundation. Similar flooding has occurred 3 occasions, I believe. Suggest city leaders should look into taking measures to protect its non-profits as well as its downtown businesses.


Grateful for our first responders who were out rescuing people from flooded cars and other situations. Mother nature dropped some torrential rain and hail.

Frederick Gamer

I'm glad this article mentions the September 2015 flood, because this storm had me about as scared as that one did.

I have a storm drain directly in front of my house and it failed in 2015. We got 7 inches of water in the basement that night and we made some really modest improvements to hopefully prevent it from happening again. Not much you can do if the water doesn't drain away.

DPW opened up my drain a bit (it was constricted from bad paving work) and installed another drain around the corner.

Those 3 things likely saved my house from another disaster last night. We were a knifes edge away, but the drain caught up after creating at around 6 inches of water on the street.

Thank you DPW, and thank you Anthony Owens for patching up my porch back then too.


I think very many of us with nomally dry basements ended up with water in them last night!


While I'm sorry for they who suffered damage, I love a storm like that. With 3-4 more days of rain in the forecast though, I'm not looking forward to driving down to Charlotte tomorrow.


Good drive, CD. If you go by route 81, down to Roanoke, the cheapest gas is usually at Troutville, usually $.20 a gallon less than here.


Yeah, that's the way we're going, Dick, 81 to 77. And I remember gas being about that much cheaper down there when we drove to Nashville 7 weeks ago.


Remind me again how the Proposed downtown hotel is of similar significance of the Carroll creek project?


Just lucky that the superb engineering on the Carroll Creek project does such a good job controlling floods. Ron Young was a visionary. And still in Annapolis. Wow.


The Carroll Creek Project was designed to prevent downtown from flooding FROM Carroll Creek. This flooding was not from an overflowing Carroll Creek. It worked as designed. Had it not been there, things would have been far, far worse.
Carroll Creek can't eliminate flooding in a different part of town.


I repeat. If the flood plains on Route 40 west hadn't been built on, starting with the Fredericktowne Mall in 1972, Frederick wouldn't have near the amount of flooding that it does. Building permits MUST be carefully researched before approving any developer from building. PURE GREED.


I think my post totally went over Al’s


He was right about Ron!


All of Frederick should be thanking Ron Young for the Carroll Creek project. He knocked on my door a few days ago, still humbly asking for votes. Roger Manno was with him, running for Ben Cardin's seat in the House of Reps.


What was your response?


The three of us had a nice personal conversation. It turns out Roger knows my parents, who live in the Montgomery County part of his gerrymandered district.

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