In the wake of the multiple water rescues, Loudoun and Montgomery authorities reminded residents Thursday to remember the catch phrase, “turn around, don’t drown.”
Drivers are advised never to drive through standing water because it could be deceptively deep, and to avoid driving through areas that are prone to flooding. Two feet of rushing water can carry away most vehicles, including sport-utility vehicles and pickup trucks, according to officials in Montgomery.
Loudoun residents can visit www.511virginia.org for up-to-date listings of road closures due to flooding. Officials have also compiled this list of areas in Montgomery that are prone to flooding and high water.
Officials also warned that continuing strong winds could topple trees and branches, blocking roadways across the area. Again, drivers are urged to use caution.
In Frederick County, the National Weather Service says the river will crest at 17.5 feet by early Thursday evening at the Interstate 70 crossing near Frederick. The flood stage there is 16 feet. The predicted crest is considered moderate flooding.
The weather service predicts minor flooding along the Potomac River at Point of Rocks. It says the river will crest at 17.3 feet there by Saturday morning. Flood stage at Point of Rocks is 16 feet.
Rhonda Jackson, a Prince George’s County Emergency Management spokeswoman, said county officials are having regular conference calls about the situation but now believed Laurel to be the “only impacted area.”
“But we’re monitoring it, Jackson said.
In addition to trouble on roadways, people traveling in the skies faced delays Thursday.
While there weren’t delays at Dulles and Reagan National airports, Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport reported delays of up to 45 minutes due to high winds.
Delays were also reported at LaGuardia and JFK airports in New York, which does not bode well for air travel along the East Coast and beyond for the rest of the day. Flight delays at those two airports have a domino effect that disrupts air traffic elsewhere.
Caitlin Gibson, Ashley Halsey III , Dan Morse and Matt Zapotosky contributed to this report.