Thunderstorms rolled through Washington County again Tuesday afternoon and evening, leading to residential flooding in the Claggett’s Mill area off Poffenberger Road south of Hagerstown and causing a vehicle to get stuck in water on Cool Hollow Road, according to Washington County 911 officials.
The vehicle ran into high water on Cool Hollow Road off Dual Highway at 6:26 p.m., and the occupants were able to get out before rescue officials arrived, 911 officials said.
The residential flooding in Claggett’s Mill was due to culverts that became clogged, 911 officials said.
In Hagerstown, Memorial Boulevard between Potmac and Maryland avenues remained closed as of 7:25 a.m. Wednesday, according to Washington County spokeswoman Sarah Lankford Sprecher.
Workers were draining high water that had collected under the railroad overpass.
Close to a dozen roads throughout the county were flooded due to the heavy rain and there was evidence of a lightning striking at house on Ayoub Lane in Black Rock Estates near Mount Aetna, according to authorities.
Closures as of 9:15 p.m. Tuesday included Poffenberger Road, Mary Flowers Way, Roulette Drive, Cool Hollow Road, Bakersville Road at Tommytown Road, the 7700 block of Old National Pike, Mount Aetna Road at Mapleville Road, Sharpsburg Pike in the area of the ag center, Fairplay Road near Bakersville Road and the 18000 block of Keedysville Road, a 911 dispatcher said.
All of those roads had reopened by 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, said Diane Mongan, office manager for the Washington County Highway Department.
Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer said on his website at i4weather.net that 1.64 inches of rain fell Tuesday in Hagerstown.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for Washington County and western Frederick County in Maryland, as well as northeastern Morgan County, northern Jefferson County and eastern Berkeley County in West Virginia until 10:45 p.m.
A cold front over the Ohio Valley is working its way east behind the storms, according to NWS meteorologist Nicole Listemaa, who said the thunderstorms most likely were part of a “pre-frontal trough” that is preceding the cold front.
“But with the atmosphere so hot and humid, it’s become unstable,” she said.
Most of the heavier rains and thunderstorms moved through the area Tuesday afternoon into evening, but additional rain was possible as the front moves closer to the area, Listemaa said.
Tuesday’s downpours followed heavy storms that moved through Washington County on Sunday, packing estimated winds up to 65 mph and causing a large tree to fall across a house along Woodside Drive off Sharpsburg Pike south of Hagerstown.
More than 1,000 people were without power after storms Sunday, but by Tuesday afternoon that number had dropped to 65 Potomac Edison customers without power. After Tuesday evening’s storms, that number crept back up to 1,785 customers by 9:15 p.m., according to Potomac Edison’s website.
Power to the Williamsport area home of John Hetzer was restored Monday night, but not before he spent the day without air conditioning.
“It was really hot,” said Hetzer, 70, of Lockwood Road. “I used a generator and fans upstairs to stay cool.”
He said he used a generator for his refrigerators and freezers to preserve his food, but he had no other forms of electricity, including air conditioning. To save food from spoiling, he said, he cooked some of it on a grill.
Paul Barr, 65, who also lives on Lockwood Road near Williamsport, said that while his power was out from Sunday night until Monday night he ran two generators to power the refrigerators and keep fans running. But he did not have enough power for air conditioning.
“We were sitting there with no TV or radio and no air conditioning,” he said. “It’s been tough, but you can’t stop Mother Nature.”
On Tuesday, Barr was out cleaning up tree limbs and tree branches knocked down by the storm, and his wife, Claudia, was cleaning their pool in the backyard.
“We can just jump in the pool when it gets real hot,” he said. “We prefer just using our generator for refrigeration so we don’t lose all our food.”
With the threat of power outages possible throughout the summer, area residents can take certain steps when that happens, according to Potomac Edison spokesperson Todd Meyers.
“The first thing people need to do when their power goes out is call us,” Meyers said. “You want to report that the power is out.”
Meyers said residents should open their freezers or refrigerators as little as possible during that time to save the food.
“Some foods can last one or two days without spoiling,” he said. “You could buy an ice chest to put some of them in or just fire up the grill outside. Try to use some of it.”
Most of the time, people will not be reimbursed for items lost when their power goes out if it is due to a storm, Meyers said.
Residents should turn off water heaters, stoves, televisions and other major appliances, Meyers said. They can leave one light on and plugged in, so they will know when the power comes back on. They can also open windows.
“It might be best to go somewhere else,” Meyers said. “Go to the pool, to the mall or to somebody’s house with electricity.”
Staff writer C.J. Lovelace contributed to this story.
What to do during a power outage
Following are some tips from Potomac Edison about what to do if your power goes out this summer:
- Call 1-888-544-4877 and report the power outage to Potomac Edison.
- Keep refrigerators and freezers closed as much as possible so your food does not spoil.
- Find ways to use food that might go bad fast (i.e.. grill it, put it in an ice chest, etc).
- Turn off major appliances.
- Leave one lamp on and plugged in so you know when the power comes back on.
- Open your windows.
- Go to other places that might have electricity.