Sudden rain floods Prince George's County homes, some motorists - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Sudden rain floods Prince George's County homes, some motorists

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BERWYN HEIGHTS, Md. -

A sudden, very local rainstorm on Tuesday flooded homes and stranded motorists in the Berwyn Heights-College Park sections of Prince George’s County.

Buddy Robson was working at home on 59th Avenue when the rain hit around 9 a.m.

“Well, it sounded like someone was trying to come through the roof at the peak of it,” Robson remembered. “And then it let up for maybe four or five minutes. And then it was almost like being caught in a hurricane. The backside [of the storm] came around, and it started raining real hard again. I could feel the wind blowing it up against the front window.”

So much water came down so fast, storm drains were overwhelmed. On 59th Avenue, entire backyards (on both sides of the street) became flooded with water.

Robson described it: “[I] Looked out over my deck and could see a cascade of water, like a river, literally coming across the backyard. I’ve lived here 34 years and never seen anything like it.”

There was so much ground-level water, it pushed through many doorways, and poured into basements.

Mary Smith rushed into her basement “and I was unplugging things, and there was like a bang. It blew my basement door open. It was that forceful.”

We asked if she had any belonging in her basement.

“Oh, yeah,” she responded. “It was like a little apartment down there. So I’m sure all that’s gone.”

Some basements got as much as five feet of water.

Firefighters from several neighboring departments went door-to-door for hours, making sure people were physically okay. Utility crews cut off electricity (and sometimes gas) to homes that had the worst flooding.

Businesses in nearby College Park also got flooded. And some motorists attempted -- unsuccessfully -- to get through underpasses where the sudden rain got suddenly deep.

One restoration expert predicted it might be days before some of the homeowners on 59th Avenue get electricity again.

According to Mark Brady, spokesman for the Prince George’s County Fire and EMS Department, there were no known injuries from the severe rainstorm.


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