Caused by heavy rains.
Homes and businesses in Laurel are being evacuated because of heavy rains that have prompted the opening of nearby dams. Laurel city spokesman Pete Piringer says the evacuations were ordered Thursday morning and affect several hundred people in the city's historic district. Piringer says gates on dams on the Patuxent upstream of Laurel are being opened to relieve pressure caused by the heavy rains.
The National Weather Service says the water releases will likely cause higher water levels than the area has seen in many years. Areas likely to flood include Laurel and Bowie.
Piringer also says heavy rains Wednesday have already caused flooding that closed the Marc commuter rail station in Laurel.