Reporting Meghan McCorkell
LAUREL, Md. (WJZ)— Dangerous high waters. Rising rivers claimed at least one life after overnight storms. Now several communities are flooded out.
Meghan McCorkell has more on the impact of the water.
In Laurel, one woman died in the high waters. An evacuation order has been lifted as the water starts to recede.
The power of the Patuxent River was in full force as water cascaded into the city of Laurel.
“I’ve never seen water like this around here,” said one resident.
The rising river turned tragic. One woman drowned; her body found floating in a wooded area.
Businesses and homes along Main Street were put under a voluntary evacuation order.
“We’ve had some flooding in other areas, but not like this,” said Laurel Mayor Craig Moe.
“It’s just scary to see this like this. You don’t want it to get to your house, you know,” said resident Oscar Mancilla.
Water started pouring into the city after floodgates were opened at two nearby dams.
“There was an excessive amount of rainfall overnight and to protect the dam, we needed to open the gates,” said WISSC spokesperson Lyn Riggins.
As the water rapidly rose in Laurel, workers for one school bus company frantically tried to get all their vehicles out of the way but one got left behind. The water crept up to the tires of that bus.
“It was a rude awakening when we came in this morning. It wasn’t anything like this but the waters were already starting to rise and we had to move the buses,” said Terri Souder.
It was a rude awakening in Montgomery County, too. Eight drivers were rescued by firefighters after driving right into high water.
MARC train riders didn’t fare much better. Trees down on the tracks suspended service for hundreds.
In Howard County, another driver was forced to abandon their car to the rising river.
Back in Laurel, all eyes are on the water to see if it keeps coming up.
Officials controlling those two dams say they are reducing the number of floodgates that are open but they will continue to release water over the next few days.
Some roads in Howard County and Baltimore County remain closed due to flooding.