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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Swift Water Teams Make Rescues and Provide Assistance

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930


The Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services Department has responded t hundreds of incident as a result of two days of heavy rains and floods.   Preliminary estimates of responses indicate that the Departments Technical Rescue Team, which includes the Swift Water Team, responded on over 60 calls to assist or rescue motorists stranded in stalled water on Wednesday and Thursday.  The majority of their responses occurred on Wednesday evening starting at about 10:30 pm and continued throughout the day today.  The County opened up the Emergency Operations Center to help coordinate issues created by flooded and closed roads.

While operating in Upper Marlboro area this morning the Swift Water Team used inflatable rescue boats to evacuate about 20 people from 11 businesses and 10 homes.  The residential evacuations consisted of 12 residents and 2 dogs.  Employees and business owners were also assisted out of the area due to flooding.  No injuries occurred.  The American Red Cross was on location assisting those displaced.  Firefighters went door-to-door informing residents of the need to leave their homes.  Evacuated residents were taken by boat over to higher grounds.   Montgomery County Department of Fire and Rescue Services provided 2 rescue boats with crews to support operations.

In one instance firefighters had checked and knocked on the doors of all homes in the flood zone.  As they were making their way out of the neighborhood they heard a dog barking.  They tracked the barking dog to an appliance business with a top floor apartment.  Firefighters again banged on the doors and window and announcing themselves by yelling, Fire Department Fire Department.”  The three adult occupants awoke and were surprised to find floodwaters throughout the structure.  They retreated up to the attic where firefighters removed the occupants from the attic out of an old boarded up door.  The three adults and 7-month-old “Rusty” were brought to the safety of higher ground.

All Photos by Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, PGFD


Firefighters check on businesses to ensure they are clear of occupants.




The Swift Water Team brings 3 adults and a dog to higher ground after rescuing them from the attic of their flooded home at 15108 Marlboro Pike in Upper Marlboro.





Fire Fighter Joe Ford provides "Rusty" to his owner after evacuating them from their flooded home.



Route 301 is flooded and closed in the area of Route 4.

Route 202 at Marlboro Pike

Route 202 and Marlboro Pike

Montgomery County DFRS transferred 2 rescue boats to support PGFD Swift Water Operations.


NWS - FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY for County

The Prince George's County Fire/EMS Department continues to respond to numerous water and flood related incidents.  Nearly 2 dozen people have been rescued or assisted by firefighters and the Departments Swift Water Team.  There have been no injuries reported at any of our incidents.

Heavy rain continues to fall with one first responder stating, "We will be en route, however, we can only see 2 feet ahead of us because it is raining so hard."

A short time ago, The National Weather Service issued a FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCy.

Due to the weather and unsafe road conditions the Fire/EMS Department will be dispatching a "reduced assignment on all calls for service.
THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN STERLING VIRGINIA HAS ISSUED A 
 
* FLASH FLOOD EMERGENCY FOR... 
 
ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND... 
EASTERN PRINCE GEORGES COUNTY IN CENTRAL MARYLAND... 
NORTHWESTERN CALVERT COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND... 
EASTERN CHARLES COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND... 
NORTHWESTERN ST. MARYS COUNTY IN SOUTHERN MARYLAND... 
 
* UNTIL 445 AM EDT 
 
* AT 1236 AM EDT...LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICIALS IN PRINCE GEORGES 
AND CHARLES COUNTY REPORTED SIGNIFICANT FLASH FLOODING...WITH 
NUMEROUS HIGH WATER RESCUES ONGOING PARTICULARLY IN THE WALDORF AND 
BRANDYWINE AREAS. THIS IS A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION! 
 
* SOME LOCATIONS THAT WILL CONTINUE TO BE AFFECTED BY THE HEAVY 
RAIN   INCLUDE BOWIE...CLINTON...CROFTON...FORT MEADE...GLEN 
BURNIE...GREEN HAVEN...KETTERING...LA PLATA...LARGO...MARLTON... 
MILLERSVILLE...MITCHELLVILLE...ODENTON...PASADENA...SEVERN...SEVERNA 
PARK...SOUTH GATE...ST. CHARLES...UPPER MARLBORO...WALDORF... 
WOODMORE AND RIVERIA BEACH.

RADAR ESTIMATES AND SURFACE OBSERVATIONS INDICATE 3 TO 5 INCHES OF RAIN HAS FALLEN IN THE LAST 3 HOURS ON ALREADY SATURATED GROUND...IN A BAND FROM LA PLATA AND WALDORF TO UPPER MARLBORO AND BOWIE...TO CROFTON AND MILLERSVILLE. WITH RAINFALL RATES OF 2 TO 3 INCHES PER HOUR STILL OCCURRING...ADDITIONAL RAIN AMOUNTS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES ARE POSSIBLE. BE ESPECIALLY CAUTIOUS AT NIGHT WHEN IT IS HARDER TO RECOGNIZE THE DANGERS OF FLOODING. IF FLASH FLOODING IS OBSERVED ACT QUICKLY. MOVE UP TO HIGHER GROUND TO ESCAPE FLOOD WATERS. DO NOT STAY IN AREAS SUBJECT TO FLOODING WHEN WATER BEGINS RISING. MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. STAY OFF THE ROADS UNLESS IT IS AN EMERGENCY! NEVER DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. FLOOD WATERS ARE USUALLY DEEPER THAN THEY APPEAR. JUST ONE FOOT OF FLOWING WATER IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO SWEEP VEHICLES OFF THE ROAD. WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS MAKE THE SMART CHOICE...TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.

Heavy Rains Generate Flash Flooding - Dozens of Motorists Stranded in High Water

Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesprson


Another powerful storm with heavy rains and lightening started rolling through the County at around 10:00 pm.  These storms prompted tornado and flash flood warnings from the National Weather Service.  



View more videos at: http://nbcwashington.com.



At about 11:15 pm numerous streets in Bowie flooded stranding motorists in high water.  Some of these streets included; Route 197 and Kenhill Drive, Millstream Drive and Maureen Lane, Buckingham Drive and Blueberry Lane and Stoneybrook Drive.  As many as 12 vehicle occupants were assisted to safety by firefighters and the Departments Swift Water Team.


At around midnight, as another band of rain entered the County, streets in the Brandywine area started experience flash flooding stranding motorists on Floral Park Drive and on Cherry Tree Crossing Road near Old Indian Head Road.


As of the latest update from the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works & Transportation (DPW&T) is reporting 12 County roads closed and two State roads tonight. Rain is forecasted to continue throughout the evening and the County will update road closures by 6am tomorrow morning. 

Residents and motorists travelling through the County are advised to be alert and tune in to weather and traffic reports for the latest updates on road conditions.  Residents are also advised to not drive through any deep water on roads.  Residents should call the Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) automated customer service line at 301-499-8520 to report any roads that are flooded and/or impassable.

The Prince George’s County Department of Public Works & Transportation is reporting the following County roads closed currently. This list does not include roadways where high water warning signs have been placed.

• Sunnyside Avenue @ Edmonston Road, Beltsville
• 6700 Glenn Dale Road, Glenn Dale
• Old Baltimore Avenue @ Edmonston Road, Beltsville
• Sweitzer Lane @ Van Dusen Road, Laurel
• Croom Station Road @ the bridges in from both directions, Upper Marlboro
• Governor Bridge Road, Bowie
• Brock Bridge Road, Laurel
• Contee Road @ Mayfair Drive, Laurel
• Van Dusen Road @ Old Gunpowder Road, Laurel
• Sweitzer Lane @ Van Dusen, Laurel
• South Springfield Road @ Accokeek Road, Clinton
• 11700 block of Brandywine Road, Brandywine.

Currently, the State Highway Administration is reporting the following high water: 

• Water Street, Upper Marlboro 
• Indian Head Highway (210)Service Road