Storm swamps Florida, Maryland

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Pensacola, FL, United States (4E) – The storm that spawned deadly tornadoes in the Plains and Deep South caused heavy flooding in eastern U.S. late Wednesday.

Some areas in Florida received 26 inches or more than two feet of rain with Pensacola getting 11 inches. Pensacola received about 20.47 inches of rain over the two days of the storm, the National Weather Service (NWS) said Thursday.

Floods swept 67-year-old woman into a drainage ditch in Escambia County and she drowned, county spokeswoman Kathleen Castro said. Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward

Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for Northwest Florida’s 26 counties and mobilized the National Guard to help out. There were more than 200 rescues made.

In Baltimore, a nearly 120-year-old retaining wall in Charles Village collapsed Wednesday causing street lights, sidewalks and half a dozen cars to fall onto the CSX rail tracks 30 feet below. No one was injured in the landslide but 19 homes along East 26th Street were evacuated and stopped cargo containers handled by rail at the state’s Seagirt Marine Terminal.

Baltimore engineers were investigating the cause of the collapse, evaluating the stability of the homes on the street and making arrangements for any residents who were displaced, according to Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Meanwhile, more than three inches of rain fell at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on Wednesday and Jones Falls stream overflowed devastating businesses in the Woodberry neighborhood. Roads in Harford and Charles counties were closed for flooding. Commuter schedules on MARC trains were delayed by 90 minutes as crews cleared tracks of felled trees.

In Laurel, the gates of the Duckett Dam on the Patuxent River were opened flooding Route 1 and the city’s Main Street. Residents of returned to their homes Thursday morning after being evacuated overnight.

Larger rivers like the Patapsco and the Severn could be expected to remain under flood warnings into Thursday as the surge of precipitation flushes its way into the Chesapeake, said Jason Elliott, a hydrologist with the NWS in Sterling, Virginia, according to Baltimore Sun.

In Alabama, the area around Orange Beach received 22 inches to 26 inches in less than 24 hours, the NWS said.

In Athens, Georgia, a driver was killed Wednesday when storm winds toppled a tree onto a car.

More than five inches of rain fell on New York’s LaGuardia airport, the second-heaviest total on record for an April day.


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