MCFRS News Release

Emergency Crews Kept Busy Handling Flooding Emergencies

Strike Teams Deployed – Residents Urged to be Aware of High Water

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service (MCFRS) emergency crews remind residents that during and after a storm floodwaters can quickly appear in culverts and other low lying areas, particularly when the ground is already saturated by previous rain storms. Also, DO NOT walk or drive through floodwaters or high water. Drive with care – walk with caution.

Water six inches deep is enough to knock a person over, and water less than two feet deep can sweep away a car. Most flood-related deaths are caused by driving into floodwaters.

Crews from the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service have reacted swiftly to the potential of an onslaught of emergency calls during the rain storm that hit the Washington metro area and particularly Montgomery County this afternoon on Thursday, November 16, 2006. Typically we can expect a variety of incidents, including people stranded in vehicles caught in high water caused by flash floods, flooded basements, power outages and storm related personal injury vehicle crashes in all areas of the County.

The entire area was under a “Flash Flood” watch. Personnel from the Montgomery County River Rescue and Tactical Services (Swift Water Rescue) Team have pre-deployed at Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Stations strategically located for quick response. Special “Strike” Teams will be stationed at Germantown (Station 29), Cabin John Park (Station 10/30) and Kensington – Aspen Hill (Station 25). Around 7 p.m., with the water rising at about 2 feet an hour in the northeast area of the County, ‘Strike’ teams were redeployed to Sandy Spring (Station 4) and Sandy Spring (Station 40).

MCFRS personnel and Department of Public Works and Transportation crews monitored the weather conditions and forecasts and kept a watch on low lying areas. Typical areas of concern are along Little Falls Parkway near River Road and Massachusetts Avenue, in Bethesda, Brink Road between Blunt Road and Wightman Road, in the Goshen area, as well as near Laytonsville and Brookeville on Zion Road near the Hawling’s River and along Brighton Dam Road just west of New Hampshire Avenue. Other locations that experienced high water are along the areas near the Seneca Creek, Rock Creek, Northwest Branch and Muddy Branch Creek. Crews handled dozens of calls for assistance of motorists either stranded or trapped in their vehicle. Several rescues were necessary. The most active times for service were between 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. and between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Remember, never drive or walk through flooded roadways or streams. If the automobile you are driving stalls in water. Call for assistance as soon as possible. Know that low lying areas may flood and drivers may have to use alternate routes. Plan these routes ahead of time. DO NOT drive through moving water.