Montgomery County remains on a flood watch through Saturday morning, but the flooding threat in the area could have been significantly worse if the area had received the rain that was expected to arrive Thursday night, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Jason Elliott.
Elliott said Friday morning that the heaviest rain forecasted this week was expected to fall Thursday night, but the significant rainfall didn’t arrive.
“We sort of dodged a bullet in that regard,” Elliott said. The weather service is now expecting the heaviest rain to fall Friday night into Saturday morning with an inch or two of rain predicted, according to Elliott.
“We’re still not totally out of the woods,” Elliott said. “The ground is still very saturated from 4 to 5 inches of rain over the last week.”
He said no thunderstorms are expected Friday due to cooler temperatures, but they are possible Saturday afternoon and evening as well as Sunday as temperatures increase into the 80s over the next two days.
Area residents are going to have to be patient as they wait for sunshine to return—Elliott said the next day without any rain forecasted is Thursday or Friday next week. The weather service is expecting light showers Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Elliott said.
The county’s fire department is preparing for potential flooding. Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said Friday the department is planning to put extra rescue boats in service Friday in case any flash flooding hits the area. He said rescue crews are mainly watching the area around Seneca Creek in Gaithersburg and north of Potomac, which is prone to flooding, as well as other Potomac River tributaries. The county maintains a list of roads and areas that are prone to flooding.
Many MoCo creeks & tributaries off Potomac River & Seneca Creek are overflowing – Flood Watches & Warnings In Area pic.twitter.com/hqMRj8Anc9
— Pete Piringer (@mcfrsPIO) May 17, 2018
NOTICE: White’s Ferry CLOSED since Wednesday, until further notice, due to high water & debris – White’s Ferry CLOSED pic.twitter.com/tIBwh8Cii9
— Pete Piringer (@mcfrsPIO) May 18, 2018
As of Friday morning, Piringer said crews have not been called to respond to any significant issues related to flooding in the county. He said county rescue crews helped Frederick County crews make rescues after knee-deep flood waters rose in parts of that county, including Frederick city in recent days.
The Maryland State Highway Administration said in a press release Thursday afternoon its crews continue to respond to flooding issues in the state and are working to inspect and clear storm drains. The department also warned drivers not to attempt to drive through large puddles or flood waters because a vehicle can be immobilized by traveling through just a few inches of water.