FREDERICK, Md. — A dramatic scene unfolded Tuesday night as more than 80 people were trapped aboard a MARC train during the flash floods that hit Frederick County.
The train was just one of several rescues made by first responders in Frederick County during Tuesday night’s flash floods.
“It was an abnormally strong storm,” said Battalion Chief David Barnes with Frederick County’s Fire Department. “The water around the train was coming up to the step of the train on the first level.”
The passengers, who were headed to the Brunswick station, were told they needed to go to the upper deck of their double-decker train to stay safe.
“We could be looking at some more flooding problems between now and the end of the workweek,” said Storm Team 4 meteorologist Matt Ritter. “We could be looking at an additional 4 to 6 inches of rainfall between now and the start of the weekend.”
Authorities said it was too dark and dangerous to safely get the passengers off the train.
“The train was unable to continue up the tracks as it was surrounded by water,” Barnes said. “We deemed that the safest course of action was to wait it out a little bit.”
From around 7 p.m. until midnight the passengers were stuck waiting for the water to recede.
“The safest course of action was to wait and get the train to progress to the Brunswick station in lieu of trying to offload approximately 85 people through the water,” Barnes said.
Rescue crews would have needed to use a boat to get the passengers off safely, Barnes said.
Following the incident, MARC suspended all service on the Brunswick Line Wednesday citing the “damage to train tracks between Brunswick and Germantown and between Monocacy and Point of Rocks on the Frederick Branch.”
MARC said it would release more details about the incident later Wednesday after talking with CSX Transportation.
“We share your concerns with how this situation was handled and will provide you with more information,” the rail service said in a statement.
Service on the Brunswick Line is expected to be fully restored on Thursday.
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