Two dead in Baltimore flash floods, residents warned to seek higher ground

BALTIMORE, July 31 (UPI) — Two people have been found dead after flash flooding in the Baltimore area Saturday that washed away cars and roads and left thousands without power.

A flash flood emergency was issued for portions of the city. The National Weather Service called the event severe flooding and warned people to seek higher ground, CNN reported.

“Move to higher ground now,” the weather service warned at 10:40 p.m. Saturday. “This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation. Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order.”

Two bodies have been found in the Patapsco River after flood waters ripped through Ellicott City destroying much of its downtown, WUSA9 reported. The city was evacuating its citizens, moving them to a local community shelter and away from the Main Street flooding.

By 9:30 p.m. Saturday, fire crews were conducting water rescues throughout the city.

The Baltimore Fire Department was pulling stranded drivers and passengers from their cars.

The warning area included the city of Baltimore near Jones Falls, the Little Patuxent River near Columbia, Maryland, the Patapsco River near Ellicott City andother nearby areas.

Howard County’s Department of Fire and Rescue Services said on Facebook that it is “responding to numerous swift water vehicle rescues.”

On Sunday, Howard and Baltimore counties officials identified Jessica Watsula, 35, of Lebanon, Pa., and Joseph Anthony Blevins,38, of Windsor Mill, Md as the flood’s two fatalities.

Watsula and Blevins were both swept away in the flooding and their bodies were found approximately two miles down the Patapsco River in Baltimore County.

Watsula had left a restaurant with three family members moments before the wave swept over their car. Emergency rescue teams were able to pluck the others from the rushing water, but not Watsula.

Blevins and his girlfriend got caught as water began to wash their car car away. Blevins’ girlfriend was able to escape, but Blevins was trapped.

The flash flood warnings are expected to stay in effect until late Sunday afternoon.


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