Laurel awash after another flood -- Gazette.Net


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Though not nearly as severe as on May 1, residents and businesses in low-lying parts of Laurel said water rose to about two feet after heavy rainfall late Tuesday morning and they are anxious to get a response from city officials on how they plan to address future incidents.

Coincidentally, the flood occurred two days before a public hearing Laurel officials planned to discuss a major May 1 flood that caused property damage and forced some residents to evacuate.

Bill Polizos, vice president of Progressive Rent A Car at One Main St., said he plans on attending the meeting to hear residents’ and officials’ thoughts on the recurring flooding problems.

“The parking lot was flooded and we had to move some cars to higher ground,” Polizos said Tuesday, estimating that the water rose as high as two and a half feet in the parking lot of his business, which is adjacent to the Patuxent River. But he added, “based on the last [flood] this was definitely small.”

Shortly before 2 p.m., Laurel officials reported on social media that sections of several streets were closed, along with Riverfront Park in Laurel, and several cars had to be moved from the parking lot of the American Legion Laurel Post 60 at 2 Main St.

“The rain came fast and furious ... we had a couple of inches in just a few minutes,” said Audrey Barnes, a city spokeswoman, adding that the National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning at 12:30 p.m. She said the city’s Department of Public Works went out on the streets immediately, cleaning any clogged storm drains, which enabled the water to recede by about 3:30 p.m.

Photographs taken by public works and Laurel Police Department officials and posted on social media show cars sitting in parking lots filled with water.

But even after the water receded and the sun came out, Lisa Lange, 51, manager of the Laurel Town Lodge apartment building on B Street, said she and some of her tenants were concerned about more rain and a possible evacuation.

“All the rain flooded my basement and it flooded one of the lower level apartments,” Lange said Tuesday afternoon, as she was on her way to the apartment complex.

Lange added that during the flood on May 1 residents of the apartment building had to be evacuated to a nearby community center.

“My tenants were just totally distraught already,” she said.

Lange said Wednesday she was relieved that she did not have to evacuate, and plans to attend the public hearing on the flood.

The public hearing will be held at 7 p.m. today at Partnership Hall, 811 5th St.

apopovici@gazette.net