WASHINGTON – Wearing a life jacket and her clothes soaked through, Ella Lichenberg of Bethesda, Maryland steps out of a raft onto Beach Drive. Moments earlier, she was rescued from her car that stalled out in high water.
“It came out of nowhere,” Lichenberg says.
Lichenberg was on her way home, taking Beach Drive between Cedar Lane and Connecticut Avenue, when the driver ahead of her hit high water and stalled.
She says she decided to go around the driver in what looked like shallow water. It was not.
“I guess I’m embarrassed. You know my judgement was wrong. I called 9-1-1 right away,” she says.
As Rock Creek and Sligo Creek rose rapidly around noon Tuesday, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue teams were deployed to help multiple drivers, stuck in flash flooding.
“In just about an hour’s period of time we had seven or eight people trapped in their vehicles. The Flash Flood Warning was issued by the National Weather Service. I believe most of these people just got caught in the flash flood scenerio,” says Pete Piringer with Montgomery County Fire and Rescue.
See the crew on scene pulling Lichenberg to safety:
See the state of the park as Lichenberg steps out of the raft:
Piringer was concerned about continuing rainfall throughout the day and the possibility of drivers having to navigate standing water during the evening rush hour as visibility drops.