Record-breaking rain leads to water rescues, Md. sewer overflows

WASHINGTON — The near-constant rain that fell over the weekend across the D.C. region smashed an annual record, stranded drivers and caused sewer overflows.

Rescue crews were busy pulling people from cars that were stuck on flooded streets, including Brighton Dam Road in Brookeville, Maryland.

The Brookeville water rescues involved two cars “stranded in high water,” Pete Piringer, a Montgomery County Fire Department spokesman, wrote on Twitter Saturday night. There were two adults in one car and two adults and two children in the other, he said.

Piringer said all six people were rescued safely.

Similar scenes played out in other low-lying areas as the rainfall lifted the region to a record.

By Monday morning, D.C. had recorded 64.22 inches of rain for the year, according to the National Weather Service. That is nearly 3 inches above the previous annual record of 61.33 inches set back in 1889.

“It was an exceptional rainfall year in terms of the amount of rain and in terms of how it was fairly evenly distributed through the course of the year,” said National Weather Service Meteorologist Chris Strong. “Most months were above normal in terms of rainfall.”

From Friday through Sunday, the D.C. area picked up more than 3 inches of rain.

“Other cities have broken their calendar-year rainfall records as well, including Baltimore and a number of locations through the Mid-Atlantic,” Strong said.

The record-breaking rain made things difficult for water utilities.

There were two sewer overflows in Prince George’s County, according to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

One of the overflows occurred at the Broad Creek Wastewater Pumping Station in Fort Washington, where 690,000 gallons of wastewater poured into a ditch that leads to Broad Creek.

“The significant rainfall overwhelmed the station’s pumping capacity,” WSSC said in a statement. “It is important to note that WSSC’s water and wastewater systems are separate. These overflows are not affecting WSSC’s drinking water.”

The second sewer overflow happened on Farmington Road in Accokeek, where sewage flowed into Piscataway Creek.

Officials with WSSC did not immediately have information on how many gallons were involved there.

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