Emergency Response, Science

27 water rescues reported throughout Baltimore County

Water RescueAs of Tuesday, swiftwater teams had performed 27 water-related rescues across Baltimore County due to the unusually heavy rains that began Saturday.

The National Weather Service estimates that four to eight inches have fallen across our region since then. Radar indicates significant moisture heading in a northerly direction that will add to those totals; two to three additional inches are forecast over the next two days.

Most of the water-related incidents occurred on the west side of Baltimore County.

Fifteen of the 27 calls involved rescues or assists – situations where victims needed first responders’ help in getting to safety. No serious injures have been reported.

Swiftwater teams are located at the Texas Fire Station and the Kingsville and Arbutus volunteer companies.

All but one of the 27 water-related calls involve vehicles trapped in floodwaters.

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Authorities say that motorists should use extreme caution when driving in these conditions. Because the ground is saturated, heavy rains will run off and flood roadways. Flash flooding — which occurs suddenly – is particularly dangerous.

Nighttime conditions are particularly hazardous because flooded roads are difficult to see. Motorists can find themselves trapped in water that they didn’t realize was there.

Avoid traveling at night, if possible. Avoid low-lying routes and routes that involve bridges; streams are swollen, and in these conditions waters can rise to bridge level.

Pedestrians should avoid walking through floodwaters and stay away from streams and creeks.

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