A month's worth of rain caused widespread flooding Wednesday, prompting multiple rescues and causing a massive landslide that poured half a dozen cars onto train tracks in Charles Village.
More storms were meanwhile possible, with tornado and severe thunderstorm warnings issued in Southern Maryland.
A landslide caused a section of 26th Street near Charles Street to collapse onto CSX rail tracks about 4 p.m., according to the Mayor's Office of Emergency Management. People were asked to avoid the area. Half a dozen vehicles fell from the roadway onto the tracks.
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Ian Brennan, a Baltimore Fire Department spokesman, said the department had no reports of injured people and its response to the slide was not a “recovery” operation about 4:45 p.m.
“But with the continued rain, they’re putting in a pretty big perimeter around the scene in case there is any more movement,” he said.
Homes on the street where the slide occurred and others in the area are being evacuated as part of that process, Brennan said.
About 6:30 p.m., CSX tweeted it was “working closely with authorities” in Baltimore to ensure safety and assess damage to its lines. The railroad, which was also busy dealing with an explosive derailment in Lynchburg, Va., on Wednesday, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Flash flood warnings were in effect until 7 p.m. across Howard County and 7:45 p.m. in parts of Carroll, Baltimore and Harford counties and Baltimore City. A coastal flood warning is in effect through midnight in Baltimore City, southern Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County, with high tides expected to be 2 feet above normal.
A tornado warning was issued through 5 p.m. in Charles and St. Mary's counties as a severe thunderstorm moved through, according to the National Weather Service.
Nearly 3 inches of rain is possible to fall by early Thursday morning, on top of 1-2 inches that fell Tuesday. At BWI Marshall Airport, more than 3 inches of rain fell from Monday night through 3 p.m. Wednesday.
Drivers are cautioned to avoid roadways covered with floodwaters, as most flooding deaths occur in vehicles, according to the National Weather Service. Road closures and water rescues were reported across the region.
Two men were rescued after passing signs and barricades blocking a road closure at Whisky Bottom Road and Brock Bridge Road near Laurel, Anne Arundel County fire spokesman Chief Keith Swindle said. A woman was rescued from a vehicle at Old Valley and Greenspring Valley roads in Stevenson, Baltimore County officials said. No injuries were reported.
In downtown Annapolis, Newman and Dock streets were closed flooding, while Compromise Street was reopened. Police told residents to expect closures to continue Wednesday night and Thursday morning at high tide.
In Ferndale, Dorsey Road was reported flooded and closed between Central Avenue and Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard. Flooding from Holly Creek forced Nursery Road in Linthicum Heights to close between Patapsco Road and Baltimore Annapolis Boulevard.
Defense Highway was closed between St. Stephens Church Road and Huntwood Drive, between Annapolis and Crofton. Ritchie Highway was down to a single northbound lane at Joyce Lane in Arnold.
In North Baltimore, city emergency management officials evacuated shoppers from Whole Foods supermarket and other businesses in Mount Washington Village over concerns of the Jones Falls flooding.
In Harford County, Department of Public Works engineers assessed the integrity of an earthen dam off the 4400 block of Harford Creamery Road Wednesday morning. The dam, built in 1961 along Little Deer Creek, holds back approximately 8 million cubic feet of water, according to emergency services officials.
Engineers they are planning to pump out some of the water from the impoundment behind the dam in an effort to gain better access to a clogged outlet pipe. The pumping is expected to reduce the level of the water in the impoundment by eight feet over the next three days, emergency services officials said.
The dam itself appeared to be sound during Wednesday's morning's site visit; however, one official said there appeared to be some seepage of water from the bottom of the mound.
The surge of groundwater caused a basement wall to collapse in the 100 block of Bon Aire Avenue in Brooklyn Park, flooding the basement and forcing residents to relocate, Swindle said.
Flooding was expected to slow MARC trains Wednesday evening, with flood related speed restrictions expected to cause delays of 20-35 minutes on the Camden and Brunswick lines, according to the Maryland Transit Administration.
Storms are possibly in the evening hours, and could bring damaging winds and possible isolated tornadoes, particularly in Southern Maryland. The highest risks of severe weather are expected to stay south of Maryland, however.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch across eastern Virginia and North Carolina through 7 p.m.
Storm and rain chances are expected to taper off by Thursday morning, with a gradual clearing of clouds over the day Thursday and highs in the mid-70s.
Mostly sunny skies and highs in the upper 60s are forecast Friday and through the weekend.
Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Kevin Rector and Krishana Davis contributed to this report.