Over the course of just a couple hours Thursday afternoon, 3 to 5 inches of rain inundated parts of western Maryland. The resulting flooding was severe, some of the worst seen in affected towns in years.

The flooding focused in two pockets: near Clear Spring (in Washington County, northwest of Hagerstown) and just south of Cumberland in Cresaptown and Bowling Green (in Allegany County).

Rainfall over the last day in western Maryland (National Weather Service)

Clear Spring flooding

As the flood waters suddenly swept through Clear Spring late in the afternoon, 20 to 30 people had to be rescued from their homes reports Herald-Mail Media out of Hagerstown.

The flooding also closed a 5-mile section of U.S. 40.

“County building inspectors are assessing the safety of about 20 homes in Clear Spring after dozens of residents were evacuated Thursday,” reports the Associated Press.

Here are some photos from the flooding in Clear Spring, via Twitter:

Cresaptown and Bowling Green (south of Cumberland) flooding

The deluge in this area of western Maryland resulted in “numerous water rescues, house collapses and at least two structure fires” according to the Cumberland Times.

Some photos:

With additional downpours possible in both Clear Spring and Cresaptown today, flash flooding remains a threat.