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September 7, 2011

A month's rain in a week

The slow-moving remnants of Tropical Storm Lee continued to unload on Maryland Wednesday morning, pushing rivers ands creeks toward flood stage, inundating many roadways and slowing the morning commute to a crawl.

Barely a week into the new month and already the airport has seen nearly a full 30 day's worth of rain.

With Lee's remains stalled to our south and west, Maryland is on the receiving end of wet, tropical air flows from the Gulf and the Atlantic. Forecasters said Central Maryland can expect rain to continue in showers and thunderstorms through Monday, with probabilities declining slowly from 100 percent today and tonight, to 30 percent by Monday.

Adding to our misery, Hurricane Katia, while still more than 450 miles east of Delmarva and not expected to make landfall here, is still funneling dangerous swells onto the coast and moist tropical air to help fuel the rain forecast here for the weekend.

On top of the rain today, forecasters say there is risk of damaging wind gusts and isolated tornadoes Wednesday afternoon along the I-95 corridor.

The past 24 hours have seen more than 3.3 inches of rain in White Marsh, with more than 2 Heavy rain slows commuteinches in places as widespread as Leonardtown in St. Mary's County, Elkton in Cecil, Williamsport in Washington County, and St. Michaels in Talbot. All these data are from the CoCoRaHS Network.

BWI-Marshall Airport is reporting 3.27 inches from Monday morning through midnight last night, 3.43 inches in all, with more to come through Monday. The average for September is 4.03 inches, Baltimore's rainiest month.

A Flash Flood Warning was posted for Baltimore  City and Central Baltimore county through 12:45 p.m. Wednesday as heavy rain bands crossed the region, dropping a quick inch of rain.

Flash Flood Watches have been in effect for days, and will remain in effect at least through Wednesday evening. Forecasters said heavy showers and scattered thunderstorms stoked by the remnants of Lee are capable of adding 2 to 3 inches to the rain totals today. Some locations could see 5 inches. Forecasters said:

"VERY HEAVY RAIN MAY CAUSE RAPID RISES IN CREEKS AND STREAMS, AS WELL AS SIGNIFICANT PONDING IN URBAN AREAS. DO NOT DFRIVE THROUGH ROADWAYS COVERED WITH WATER."

"THE THREAT OF HEAVY RAIN WILL PERSIST THROUGH AT LEAST THURSDAY, WITH A CONTINUED RISK OF FLASH FLOODING."

Rivers and creeks are rising quickly. The U.S. Geological Survey is forecasting that the Potomac AccuWeather.comRiver at Point of Rocks, Md., which stood at 1.2 feet Wednesday morning, will crest Friday at 31 feet. Flood stage is at 16 feet.

The Susquehanna, at 3.6 feet this morning, is forecast to crest Friday at 23 feet. Flood stage is 17 feet. And the Juniata River, in south-central Pennsylvania, stood at 3.7 feet Wednesday morning. It was forecast to rise to 27 feet by Friday, five feet above flood stage.

The National Park Service declared a "Flood Emergency" Tuesday morning along the C&O Canal National Historic Park, describing what's coming as "what could be one of the top ten major floods in our area."

Areas of the park were being closed, including campgrounds, boat ramps, visitor centers and day use areas. Portable toilets were being emptied and closed on Tuesday. 

"Visitors are being asked to refrain from entering the park and respect all safety barriers. There is a risk of being swept away by swift water or becoming stranded along the towpath  as the waters rise," the park service advised. "The rising water will be carrying extremely hazardous debris, trees and man-made objects."

(SUN PHOTO: Frank Roylance. Main Street Ellicott aCity video from dreed876, courtesy of Sarah Angerer)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 11:20 AM | | Comments (5)
Categories: By the numbers, Flooding
        

Comments

As of 15 minutes ago, Route 40 at Chatham Rd in Ellicott City was flooded; Route 144 between rt 29 and Tollhouse Rd was also flooded. Neighborhood streets have lakes and rivers in them; there is standing water in many (if not most) roads.
The rain is still pouring down; today has worse conditions here than at any time during the hurricane, without the widespread power outages (I hope)!

I'm gathering two of every animal and building an Arc - God told me to do that.

Why does this say until 'Monday'? Did you mean thursday?

FR REPLIES: I meant Monday. Rain chances continue each day through next Monday, Sept. 12. The good news is those chances will decline a bit each day.

We had flood waters come all the way up to our house in Ellicott City off Dogwood Drive. Our home backs up to a stream. I spent over an hour using the shop vac to empty the water that came into my house, over 150 gallons. Thankfully it's receded now.

Here is video I took at about the same time yesterday of some flooding in Baltimore City

FR REPLIES: Thanks!

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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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