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Massive Rainfall Leads to Sinkholes and Water Rescues in Germantown Area



The massive rainstorm which pounded the Germantown area with more than 5-inches of rain on Saturday created havoc on roadways, making some impassible resulting in water rescues and causing sinkholes to open on two area roads.

Montgomery County Fire Rescue units were called to at least two locations on Saturday, July 21 as torrents of rain fell on the UpCounty area. The combination of almost a week of rain compounded by a fierce almost, Nor’easter-like mid-summer rainstorm which dropped 5.19 inches of rain on Germantown on Saturday has left residents wondering what happened to the sun of summer


Indeed the rain will continue in the area. The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Watch for Germantown through late Tuesday night. “Showers and thunderstorms will become more numerous this afternoon into tonight,” said the National Weather Service. “This pattern will remain in place through Tuesday evening, with multiple rounds of torrential rainfall possible. Given saturated soil from this weekend's rainfall, repetitive heavy rain may result in flash flooding.”

The NWS has issued a Flood Warning for the area of the Seneca Creek at Dawsonville in Darnestown. The creek is forecast to rise above flood stage by early tomorrow afternoon and crest near 8.5 feet by early Wednesday morning, according to the NWS. The river will fall below flood stage by early Thursday morning. At 3:00 pm on Monday, the creek was at 3.8 feet. Flood Stage is 7.5 feet. At 7.5 feet portions of the Seneca Creek Greenway are flooded. A small portion of Berryville Road west of Darnestown begins to flood. The creek last flooded about a year ago on July 29, 2017, when it crested to 8.9 feet.


On Saturday night just after 10:30 pm, as the rain was pouring down, MCFRS responded to Game Preserve Road near I-270 for a vehicle in the high water. MCFRS rescued three occupants from the vehicle, including one child. No one was injured.


About an hour later, at 11:48 pm, MCFRS was called to the scene of another vehicle trapped in rushing water at New Cut Road in Clarksburg. The incident took place near the intersection with Frederick Road. The one person in the car was able to self-rescue without injury.

The torrential rain also caused a massive failure of a culvert on Father Hurley Boulevard in Germantown, which created a 20 by 20-foot sinkhole partially in the southbound lanes of the roadway. The sinkhole was about 25-feet deep and forced the closure of Father Hurley Boulevard in both directions. The roadway is expected to be closed for about three days, as crews work to repair the damaged pipe and sure-up the roadway. Father Hurley remains closed between Wynnfield Drive and Beaconfield Terrace.