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September 7, 2011

5"-6" of rain coming; "Turn Around, Don't Drown!"

UPDATE, 1:20 P.M.: The weather service has issued a Flash FLood Emergency UNTIL 2:30 P.M. for Baltimore's western and southern suburbs:



TADDForecasters at the National Weather Service office in Sterling are warning of extraordinary rainfall in the region Wednesday afternoon, and urging residents of Central Maryland NOT to try to drive through flooded streets.

"Due to the large string of heavy rain that extends to the south, this will likely be a big story this afternoon and into the evening," said Christopher Strong, Warning Coordination Meteorologist at Sterling.

"Some of this rain is expected to fall at 2 inches per hour rates, and some of our area may see up to 5 or 6 inches of rain this afternoon," Strong said. "I would expect in the DC Metro and western Baltimore metro that there will be many water rescues and flooded roads."

"Please encourage people to 'Turn Around/Don't Drown" for flooded roads, and to have kids stay away from flooding culverts (there have been several deaths over the years from this)."

UPDATE:  The State Highway Administration is warning of a difficult commute due to high water on roads and heavy rain. Plan accordingly.

Rain over SE Baltimore HarborMeanwhile, Ellicott City is being hit hard. Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services are responding to several calls of flooding and motorists stranded, a spokesperson said. Areas of concern are Main Street in Ellicott City and Frederick Road at the Rogers Avenue intersection. See a YouTube video of the flooding here.

The Baltimore City Fire Department is also busy dealing with flooding issues. BCFD units are on the scene in the 3400 block of Spellman Road in Cherry Hill assisting residents from their homes due to flooding, a spokesman said.

Are you out in this stuff? Tell us what you're seeing. Email photos if you can take them safely. 

(PHOTO: Thanks to Andy Blumberg. Looking southeast from the Legg Mason Tower)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 1:01 PM | | Comments (15)
Categories: Notes to readers


I just came back to SSA from Hunan Taste {Rolling Road and Rt. 4 West} and the roads are flooding rapidly. Been raining cats and dogs for some time now. Very dangerous situation. I haven't seen it rain like this for a long time. Stay home or stay at work.

Got word from a business owner on historic Main St , Ellicott CIty that they are evacuating. Parts of Rt 40 closed.

Security Blvd. at 695 is under at least a foot of water, and ramps to the beltway are closed...

In case anyone doesn't get this... the NWS reserves the terms "emergency" or "very/particularly dangerous situation" in its warnings for unusually dangerous and/or widespread situations. If it sounds like they're *really* trying to get our attention... it's BECAUSE THEY ARE... and for good reason. Everyone *please* be careful out there.

I wasn't really an outdoorsy person prior to getting my dog last summer, so maybe it's always been this way and I've never noticed, but is it just me or does it rain all the time now? Like this spring just seemed like one long rain storm. This week, I've been tempted to start construction on arc.

How does the amount rain we've gotten this year compare to historical norms for the region? How do we compare in general to the rest of the country? Is this an abnormally high amount of precipitation? Something to do with global climate change, maybe?

I'm supposed to make a drive to DC and back tonight from Baltimore for an important rehearsal...but now I'm wondering if it would be extremely foolish to try. Are the bands of torrential rainfall expected to last through the night?


Believe it or not--and I just found this out recently--our local climate zone is "Subtropical Rain Forest"!

thanks for the comments, guys. i was undecided on whether to make a 15 min trip out of the city to white marsh to run an errand... guess i'll wait until tomorrow


Believe it or not--and I just found this out recently--our local climate zone is "Subtropical Rain Forest"!

Went out this morning at about 11:30 to see my chiropractor in Pikesville. Finished about 12:20. It took me an-hour-and-a-half to get home (normally a 10 minute drive). Reisterstown Rd was flooded at Woodhome Square. Garrison Forest was closed at Greenspring Valley Rd. Greenspring Valley was closed east of GS Valley. I was just turning north onto Park Heights from Hooks Lane when a tree went down right in front of me, took out the power lines and completely blocked Park Heights. I was on the line with 911 to report it when a transformer blew up 20 ft away from me. Yikes!

It's a complete disaster out here. I've never seen so much rain over such a long period of time. I wouldn't be shocked if the Owings Mills/Pikesville/Reisterstown area reported 6+" of rain just today. It was really coming down.

It looks like the major portion of the torrential storms have moved north and east, but that there's still steady rain due. Any idea how much more we should be expecting?

And I wish I could have taken pictures. I was driving, and there was no way I was going to risk it. The amount of water on the golf course at Garrison Forest and Greenspring Valley, for example, was extraordinary. Never seen anything like that around here.

Security Blvd is already reopened. That was quick.

Anyone know if Northpoint and Kane area is flooded?

There's a YouTube video circulating showing Main Street in Ellicott City as raging rapids. Unbelievable!

you're getting what we in atlanta had on monday. be thankful you don't have tornadoes on top of all the rain.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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