Flood waters of creeks and streams in the Washington area crested yesterday and police said the nearly two inches of rain that fell in the region Friday may have been responsible for at least three deaths.
Prince George's County rescue teams searched without success for the body of 13-year-old Christopher Cason, of 7804 Winnsboro Drive, Fort Washington, who disappeared Friday after he fell into the swollen waters of Henson Creek.
Park Police spokesman Robert Reed said that Cason and a Fort Washington friend, Darryl Stone, 12, fell into the creek as they were returning home from a shopping trip at about 6:15 p.m. Both apparently slipped from a log into the swift-moving water, which was estimated to be 8 to 10 feet deep at the time, Reed said. Stone managed to get out of the water, but Cason is believed drowned, police said.
Police in Prince George's and Fairfax counties blamed Friday's downpour for two fatal automobile accidents.
A Washington man, Steve Thomas, 30, of 3073 Vista Street NE, was killed early Friday evening when he lost control of his car and struck a utility pole at Rhode Island Avenue and Quincy Street in the Brentwood section of Prince George's. Police said that a passenger in Thomas' car, Larry Milton, 30, of 10402 46th Avenue, Beltsville, was thrown through the windshield. He was listed in stable condition yesterday at Prince George's General Hospital.
Fairfax police said that a 31-year-old Army officer was killed when he lost control of his car at Route 1 and Woodlawn Road near Fort Belvoir shortly before 10 p.m. The car collided with an auto driven by Seth Mast, 22, of 3803 El Cerrito Place, Alexandria, who was not injured. The officer, whose name had not been released, was pronounced dead on arrival at Mount Vernon Hospital, police said.
The dozens of area roads closed during the storm were reported reopened yesterday. The National Weather Service posted a flood warning for portions of the Potomac River but lifted it before noon. The weather service and local police reported some minor flooding along the Shenandoah River in Virginia and along Seneca Creek in Montgomery County.
In Prince William County, authorities said a young Dumfries couple had held onto a tree in the swollen waters of Powell's Creek for two hours before they were rescued by firefighters.
Dan Young, chief of the Dale City Volunteer Fire Department, said David and Sarah Gussie were found in the creek off Spriggs Road about 7:15 p.m. Friday and their vehicle was submerged in the water.
The couple apparently tried to negotiate a one-lane bridge, which was under 1 1/2 feet of water and their car was swept into the creek, Young said. The couple escaped through the windows, and grabbed onto a tree.
Young said that 20 rescuers from three local fire stations spent two hours trying to pull the 33-year-old man and 29-year-old woman from the creek. Young said they and four firefighters were treated at a Woodbridge hospital for hypothermia.
Sarah Gussie said that she and her husband saw a sign indicating the road was closed but decided to try the bridge because, "We saw some cars coming out and going across."
A spokeswoman for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority said today's scheduled 15th annual Bluebell Walk in the 1,800-acre Bull Run Regional Park on the Prince William County line has been cancelled because of flooding.
Thousands of people come to the park to view its large stand of the wildflowers at this time of year, she said. The flooding won't kill the flowers, Werner said. "Oh no, they only grow in a flood plan and next year we'll have hundreds more of them," she said.