The deluge of rain that caused flooding in the nation’s capital and elsewhere in the East forced the evacuation of more than 2,200 people near a rising lake on Wednesday and washed out part of a four-lane highway. At least six deaths were blamed on the stormy weather and three people were missing.
More rain was forecast for the region this week.
The evacuations were ordered in an area surrounding Lake Needwood on the north side of Rockville, which was approaching 25 feet above normal Wednesday, Montgomery County officials said.
Engineers found weakened spots on the lake’s earthen dam, with water seeping through in places, said Bruce Romer, chief administrative officer for Montgomery County.
By Wednesday morning, police and rescue crews had evacuated residents of 500 apartments and 700 homes, Romer said. About 100 people refused to leave, he said.
Engineers were inspecting the dam Wednesday to determine what could be done to strengthen it.
New York state police reported that two bridges on Interstate 88 “are down” about 35 miles northeast of Binghamton, and state emergency officials said two people were dead.
“The report we have is a road washout,” said Dennis Michalski of the State Emergency Management Office. He said he had no further details.
Ten New York counties declared states of emergency, and Michalski said Gov. George Pataki activated the National Guard for evacuation support and engineering. Hundreds of people were evacuated from homes in the Binghamton area because of flooding on the Susquehanna, Chenango and other rivers.
Along with I-88, Interstate 81 also was closed in the Binghamton area.
More evacuations were underway in Pennsylvania’s Susquehanna County. The heavy rain caused flooding throughout the eastern and central parts of the state.
Officials in Alexandria, Va., urged residents and businesses to prepare for high water on the Potomac River, and states ofemergency were declared Tuesday for Sussex County, Del., and the District of Columbia.
In Washington, workers pumped water Tuesday from the IRS headquarters’ flooded basement and had to mop up at other government buildings.
Some Laurel, Md., residents voluntarily evacuated their homes as the local water utility opened floodgates on a reservoir dam, sending water gushing into the Patuxent River. By midday Tuesday, nearly 60 people had left their homes.
In addition to the two reported dead in New York, an elderly man was killed in Pennsylvania in a single-car accident on a road that had been closed because of flooding, authorities said.
Three people died in western Maryland when they were washed out of the bed of a pickup truck shortly after they were rescued from a car that stalled in high water late Tuesday, authorities said. The three young adults were rescued by passersby, but then the rescuers’ truck got stuck in rushing water, said Frederick County fire and rescue services spokesman Michael Dmuchowski.
Elsewhere in Maryland, a search resumed Wednesday for two youths, ages 14 and 15, who were reported missing at Keymar when they didn’t return home after going to a creek, said state police 1st Sgt. Russell Newell.
Searchers aided by a helicopter and dogs found a bicycle and clothing near the creek.
Teams in Virginia searched for an 8-year-old girl swept away by high water in Alleghany County.
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