Eight rescued from rising water, numerous road closures reported as a result of flash flooding

Staff photo by Sam Yu

Linganore Creek overflows its banks Friday, closing Gas House Pike about 11⁄2 miles east of Boyers Mill Road. Many roads in Frederick County were flooded early Friday by a large storm system that came through the area.

Emergency crews rescued eight people from vehicles trapped in high water Friday, and as many as 30 roads throughout Frederick County temporarily closed as a result of rain, said Chip Jewell, the county's director of emergency communications.

No one was injured as a result of getting stuck, Jewell said.

Myersville reported the most rain at 4.65 inches as of Friday night, AccuWeather meteorologist Brian Edwards said. Wolfsville received 4.10 inches; Green Valley saw 3.9 inches; and Frederick Municipal Airport reported 2.82 inches.

Maryland State Police Trooper Jared Rodeheaver said the agency responded to numerous crashes Friday morning but did not have an exact number. All the crashes were minor; no injuries were reported, he said.

Roads opened and closed sporadically as water rose and then receded. Emergency communications manager Jeremy Heflin reported 19 road closures as of 10 p.m. Friday.

“A lot of those are the low-lying areas,” Jewell said.

Baker Park bears brunt of high water

Driving by Culler Lake in Baker Park on Friday morning, Mayor Randy McClement pulled over to grab a few videos.

The part where the lake drains into Carroll Creek had turned into a waterfall, when normally it is just dripping, McClement said.

"While the park is supposed to flood, the Culler Lake area had backed up, and, really, the creek and the lake became one," he said. "It looked kind of like Niagara Falls."

The city closed about five roads Friday morning, but by 10:15 a.m., the water was receding, McClement said.

The city had flooding in "the normal places," such as Pennsylvania Avenue and Hamilton Street, but also in a few unusual places, such as Fleming Avenue, McClement said.

The city's Department of Public Works posted signs, and the police department made sure people were aware of the high waters and that no one attempted to go through them, he said.

High water also flooded the playing fields at Baker Park, where the Frederick American Little League rents fields. Rick Wilson, president of Frederick American Little League, said his cellphone was “blowing up” by early Friday with volunteers offering help to clean. In his 16 years working with the league, Wilson has become accustomed to the fields flooding and removed some of the equipment Thursday amid forecasts of heavy rain.

The league had a fundraiser planned at the fields today, along with photos planned, Wilson said, adding it was likely that that some games would have to be moved while the cleanup gets underway.

“That's what Little League is all about,” Wilson said. “Volunteers.” 

Power at the Frederick County Courthouse was restored by 11:45 a.m., according to a news release. The courthouse was scheduled to open at noon.

FirstEnergy's website reported 1,027 customers without power Friday night. About 740 were shown in Frederick; 286 in Thurmont; and fewer than five in Monrovia, Union Bridge and Walkersville. Power was expected to be restored by 11:30 p.m. Friday.

MARC service on the Brunswick Line was suspended because of trees down on tracks. Metro is honoring MARC tickets, according to a news alert from the Maryland Transit Administration.

Brunswick closes utilities near Potomac

Brunswick officials were expecting the Potomac to crest at about 2 p.m. today and decided for safety to shut down sewer, water and electricity at the campground along the river, said Bob McGrory, city administrator.

River and Trail Outfitters leases the campground and was responsible for clearing out its campers. The campground had been fully booked for the weekend with 182 Boy Scouts and about 120 additional campers, McGrory said.

Walkersville, New Market largely unscathed

Walkersville got off relatively easy when the rain came down.

Heritage Farm Park was left closed in the morning due to standing water, according to town staff, but was reopened after the rain.

By midday, parts of the park were still wet, but the park was accessible.

No damage was reported to New Market Town Hall, Clerk Deb Butler said. 

Monocacy River flooding possible

A flood warning was issued for the Monocacy River in Frederick County through this evening.

At 3 p.m. Friday, the river's stage was 16.8 feet, according to the National Weather Service. Flood stage is 15 feet. The river was expected to rise to nearly 17.3 feet by early Friday evening and fall below flood stage by morning today. At 20 feet, water reaches Gambrill Mill on the Monocacy National Battlefield. The river last reached this level May 1.

Woodsboro Road bridge closes for signal outage

Md. 550 (Woodsboro Road) was closed at the bridge over Israel Creek near Woodsboro due to a traffic signal outage caused by high water, the Maryland State Highway Administration said in a Friday news release. The closure is expected to last through the weekend.

The Md. 550 bridge is now one lane due to construction; the temporary traffic signal used to alternate traffic directions is not functional due to flooding. The road will remain closed until water recedes enough to repair the traffic signal.

A detour will direct traffic to use Md. 26 (Liberty Road) and Md. 194 (Woodsboro Pike) to bypass the area, the release said.

Put away the ark

Clearer skies are expected this weekend, AccuWeather's Edwards said. Frederick County is forecast as partly sunny and dry with highs of about 70 degrees today and Sunday.

(3) comments


this is the 3rd time they have closed Rt550 because of the traffic light wiring in the water, you'd think they would fix it by now.... And when are they actually going to do some work on the bridge?


These are low areas. Why is it news that they flood after a heavy rain?

If you don't want them to flood after a heavy rain, pay the cost of raising the road above the flood level. It really is that simple.


That's called a dam. But it's a good idea. Another dam, a new one on Gas House Pike, might help the water table in that area.

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