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Morning Storm Floods Many Germantown Roads, Creates Commuting Chaos


Many drivers were dreading the trip back to work this morning after a long July Fourth Weekend of fireworks, fun, and freedom, and this morning’s weather made that trip ever more frightful. Many drivers in Germantown were met with more challenges than usual on their first trip back to work on Monday, July 8, as a large slow-moving rain storm dumped multiple inches of rain in spots of the UpCounty turning roads into streams and streams into raging rivers.

Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service was called to numerous incidents where people had to be rescued from their vehicles after becoming trapped in fast-rising flooding from the often extremely heavy rains which moved through the County this morning.

The storm began moving through Germantown at about 6:00 am, as sheets of rain pelted area. According to the National Weather Service, at 9:23 am a weather spotter in Darnestown recorded 5.55 inches of rain. Another NWS weather spotter in Damascus recorded 2.43 inches of rain at 8:12 am, while another spotter in Gaithersburg recorded 4.64 inches of rain for the 24 hours prior to 7:00 am.

The heavy downpours created flash flooding on roads in the Germantown areas, many in places not usually prone to flooding. Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service spokesman said that the MCFRS handled 250 calls for service between 7:30 am and 10:30 am on Monday morning. On an average day, MCFRS handles about 350 calls in 24 hours. He said that there were about 50 calls for possible water rescues, about half of those calls required residents to be rescued from their vehicles, in other cases, the people were able to get to safety without assistance. He said that MCFRS helped about 25 people trapped in their vehicles by rising flood waters on Monday morning.

The first call for help came at about 7:38 am, when first responders were called to Richter Farm Road and Coachmans Road Germantown for an inland water rescue. A few moments later, a second call for a vehicle in high water at Richter Farm Road and Smokewood Drive, near Northwest High School and Great Seneca Highway. At about 7:50 pm, Fire Rescue was called to the area of Cornflower Road and Kings Crossing Boulevard in Boyds to assist another driver high water.

Richter Farm Road was closed for a while between Schaeffer Road and Germantown Road due to high water caused by the flooding. The Seneca Creek began flooding at Riffleford Road in Germantown.

As the rain continued to fall, the water began to run to streams and creeks, which forced them over their banks, virtually all UpCounty streams swelled out of their banks and across roadways at some time this morning.

Soon calls for trapped motorists began to come from other parts of the UpCounty, MCFRS was called to the area of Barnesville Road and Peachtree Road for a vehicle trapped in high water. Further west on Barnesville Road, a car was trapped in high water in the area of Old Baltimore Road, as small stream left its banks and flooded the roadway.

On Old Hundred Road/MD-109 a small stream overflowed blocking the intersection at Thurston Road in Dickerson.

Another call for vehicle trapped came from Quince Orchard Road and Wonder View Way, and another from Turkey Foot Road and Falling Leaf Road, both in Darnestown, at about 8:10 am.

About an hour later, another motorist trapped in high water — this time in Poolesville. MCFRS was called to the area near Partnership Road and River Road for a vehicle stuck in high water.

In Clarksburg, Little Seneca Creek left its banks where it merges with another stream which overflowed the S-turn in Newcut Road it became completely impassible, while Frederick Road remained passible it, too saw water flowing.

As the rains continued to move south through the County, MCFRS would continue to get calls for assistance from motorists trapped on flooded roads in DownCounty areas, with numerous calls in Potomac and Bethesda.

The rain finally stopped and the National Weather Service issued a Flooding Warning for the entire County until 6:00 pm, Monday, July 8, as streams, creeks, and rivers could potentially continue to rise as excess rainfall flows into them, and more rainfall, although not as potent, is possible for the remainder of the day.

At 3:30 pm on Monday, a number of UpCounty Roads remain closed due to flooding, including: Berryville Road at Poplar Hill Road in Darnestown; Newcut Road between Frederick Road and Houser Drive in Clarksburg;