Emergency Response, Government, Science

Baltimore County officials assess flood damage following Sunday’s storms

Weather AlertBaltimore County officials and fire crews are assessing damage from Sunday’s severe storms, which caused catastrophic flooding in some parts of the state. In Baltimore County, Catonsville and Dundalk were hardest hit.

Catonsville received more than 10 inches of rainfall – more than nearby Ellicott City in Howard County, which was devastated by flash floods for the second time in less than two years. Ellicott City sits at the bottom of a stream valley and next to the Patapsco River.

No one has been reported missing in Baltimore County, and no serious injuries have been reported.

Fire and rescue crews were fully deployed and worked non-stop from start of the severe storms, which began at about 2 p.m. on Sunday. As the situation worsened, mutual aid swiftwater units from Allegany and Harford counties were brought in to assist Baltimore County swiftwater rescue teams from the Texas Fire Station, Kingsville Volunteer Fire Company, and Arbutus Volunteer Fire Company.

Three people were rescued Sunday afternoon from a rock in the middle of the Gunpowder River.  Another man was rescued in the Seven Courts community and a portion of Belair Road was shut down as well.

Across Baltimore County and until late Sunday evening, crews were dispatched to dozens of calls for vehicles trapped in rising water, flooded basements, washed-out roads, and other flood-related issues.

Officials strongly urge residents not to drive to disaster areas to inspect the damage. This creates a risk to bystanders and hampers rescue and other emergency response efforts.

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On Monday morning, fire crews began assessments of storm damage throughout the county.

Baltimore County’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management oversees storm recovery efforts, including advice and aid for residents affected by flooding. Information about federal aid for storm victims will be provided as it becomes available.

Post-flood safety is a serious concern at this time, said Division Chief Jay Ringgold, who oversees the Office of HSEM. Major concerns include:

  • Danger of electrocution from damaged electrical systems
  • Danger of electrocution from downed power lines
  • Health risks associated with¬† polluted floodwaters, including contaminated food
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning from damage to fuel-burning appliances
  • Risk of fire or explosion from dislodged or damaged propane tanks
  • Assorted chemical hazards
  • Attempting to drive on damaged or flooded roads

Residents are urged to remain vigilant as cleanup efforts continue.

The Public Works emergency number for roads, bridges and flooding is 410-887-5210.

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