MCFRS News Release

Emergency Crews Ready to Handle Flooding Emergencies

Residents Urged to be Aware of High Water; National Weather Service Issues Tornado Watch

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 ice, rain and snow storms.  Also, DO NOT walk or drive through floodwaters or high water. ‘Walk with care - Drive with caution’.

Water four to 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 are ready to react swiftly to the potential of an onslaught of emergency calls during the rain storm that may hit the Washington metro area and particularly Montgomery County later tonight and possibly early Wednesday morning.  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 is under a Flood ‘watch’ and Tornado ‘watch’.  If necessary personnel from the Montgomery County River Rescue and Tactical Services (Swift Water Rescue) Team may be pre-deployed at Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Stations strategically located for quick response, if and when appropriate. Special “Strike” Teams are typically stationed at Germantown (Station 29), Cabin John Park (Station 10/30) and Kensington – Aspen Hill (Station 25) and sometimes in the northeast area of the County at Sandy Spring (Station 4) and Sandy Spring (Station 40).

MCFRS personnel and Department of Public Works and Transportation crews will monitor 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. 

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.

                        Adverse traffic conditions and road closures are sometimes caused by inclement weather, collisions, work zones, unfamiliar travelers and sometimes just “normal” traffic. Emergency vehicles are impacted by all these conditions, as well.  Again, we will monitor the weather conditions and forecasts and keep a watch on changing weather conditions for your safety.  We recommend that area residents and the motoring public do the same.