Area Expected To Be Pounded By Heavy Rains Through Friday

Officials urge residents to be careful when driving.

Frederick, Md (KM)  Heavy rain is expected to pound Frederick County and many surrounding areas, bringing with it the possibility of flooding. The National Weather Service in Sterling, Virginia has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Frederick, Washington, Carroll, Howard and Montgomery Counties through Friday morning. That watch area also includes Loudon County, Virginia, and Jefferson, Berkeley and Morgan Counties in West Virginia.

The region could receive between three to five inches of rain, and possibly more in some areas, according to forecasters.

AAA Mid-Atlantic urges motorists not to attempt to drive through flooded roadways. “Keep in mind as little as six-inches of water can cause you to lose control, and potentially stall your engine,” says spokeswoman Christine Delise.

The best decision is for drivers to take an alternate route.. “Everytime there is a situation like that, somebody tries to go through it, and it doesn’t take a lot of water to float a car and then you’re dealing with a water rescue there. So it’s not worth it. Turn around and take an other way home,” says State Highway Administration spokesman Charlie Gischlar.

Another danger to watch out for on the roads during heavy rain is trees and utility poles falling down. Gischlar says they can be tangled with up with downed electric lines. “So don’t try to remove a tree or cut it up on your own. Call the police and they’ll contact the power company and us to go out and clear it,” says Gischlar.

Delise says another road hazard is hydro-planing. “No car is immune from hydro-planing on wet services, including four-wheel drive vehicles. Even if brakes work under normal conditions, that doesn’t mean they’ll act the same on slippery roads,” she says.

AAA says you should slow down, brake early, drive with greater caution and alertness, and increase the following distance between you and the vehicle in front.

SHA also says if you approach an intersection where the traffic lights are out, Maryland law requires you treat it like a four-way stop.

The City of Frederick’s Department of Public Works urges residents to remove leaves and other debris from storm drain intakes and to check periodically to be sure that area remains clean. The city has more 5,000 storm drain intakes, and DPW says it’s important that they remain clear.

The agency also recommends that homeowners secure loose rain gutters and downspouts, and keep them clear of anything that can clog, such leaves. This helps prevent water damage to the home.

DPW says these roads in Frederick are known for flooding:

* Hamilton Avenue
* Pennsylvania Avenue
* Rocky Springs Road
* Shookstown Road
* Waverly Drive
* Gas House Pike
* West Patrick Street at West Frederick Middle School
* Highland Street
* East Patrick Street between Wisner Street and Carroll Creek
* Monroe Avenue
* Butterfly Lane
* North Market Street at Schifferstadt Boulevard
* North Bentz Street at West Church Street.

By Kevin McManus