Flash Flood Watch Issued for the Region

By Lexie Verdon
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 25, 2006; 6:18 PM

Hard rain storms soaked the Washington area last night and this morning, bringing much needed moisture for parched lawns, gardens and trees but also treacherous conditions along some roadways and streams.

The National Weather Service said late this afternoon that a flash flood watch was in effect until Monday morning and that more thunderstorms could be moving through the region throughout the evening. Information posted on the weather service Web site said the evening storms could bring two to four more inches of rain, lightning and wind gusts up to 30 mph to the Washington area.

The Weather Service said the stationary front producing the rain may not budge much through the early week, and rain could continue for several days.

Fairfax and Prince William counties were hit hard by the earlier storms, officials said. Several Fairfax roads, including Route 29 at the junction with Interstate 66 in Gainesville, Besley Road in the Wolf Trap area of Vienna, Stewart Mill Road at Birdfoot Lane east of Reston, and Hunter Mill Road at Cedar Pond Drive in Reston, were closed for a portion of the day because of water problems.

Heavy rains also fell along the Blue Ridge Mountains and in the region just to the west, and forecasters warned of flash flooding concerns for that area also. Over the evening, the weather service said, rain could fall at a rate of as much as 2 inches per hour and some areas could see as much as 5 inches of rain tonight.

The worst flooding, however, was reported on Maryland's Eastern Shore, especially northern Dorchester and southern Caroline counties. Some roads were washed out, officials told the Associated Press, and about 30 people were evacuated from their homes in Federalsburg, which had between 10 and 12 inches of rain overnight. Several homes in Galestown near the Delaware state line also had to be evacuated, AP reported.

The National Weather Service urged motorists not to drive through any standing water because cars can lose traction and be swept away.

Most of the local area has seen at least 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches of rain in the past 24 hours, according to Calvin Meadows, a meteorological technician at the Weather Service office in Sterling. But some areas directly along the weather front -- which stretches from central Virginia, through Southern Maryland up to southern New Jersey -- have received substantially more. Among the heaviest totals locally this morning, Meadows said, were 4 inches in Manassas in Virginia and 5 inches in Dunkirk in Maryland and nearly 4 inches in North Beach in Maryland.

A number of water rescues were reported late yesterday in the Baltimore area, Meadows said, and at least one was reported in the Centerville area of Fairfax County.

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