A flash-flood watch remains in effect until 2 p.m. Saturday as the rest of a large, wet weather system moves through the region that is expected to drop several inches of rain by the time it is gone.
The heaviest rainfall was expected Friday night into the morning, before it begins to taper off Saturday afternoon, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Brian LaSorsa.
“For (Saturday), there will be some stuff in the morning, and it should gradually taper off in the afternoon,” he said. “After 2 p.m., some drier air might be able to sneak in.”
Starting with a downpour in the afternoon hours, the Hagerstown area saw 1.2 inches of rain by 8 p.m. Friday, according to local weather observer Greg Keefer’s website.
The intense low-pressure system, spanning several states across the region, is typically seen during the fall months rather than in July.
Forecasters warned of localized flooding of low-lying roads and some smaller creeks and streams, but rivers were not expected to reach flood stages.
Tri-State area emergency dispatchers reported few issues Friday night aside from a number of minor traffic accidents and localized flooding.
The West Memorial Boulevard underpass, a frequently flooded area during heavy rains, swelled with water for a brief period on Friday, but it receded during a break in the rain, according to a Washington County Emergency Services supervisor.
In Chambersburg, Pa., West Commerce Street between Philadelphia and North Franklin streets was closed Friday afternoon due to high water, a Franklin County dispatcher said.
The road, which runs parallel to a small creek and is prone to flooding, was still closed around 8 p.m.
LaSorsa said the weather service had received some reports of flooding and road closures in the metropolitan areas around Washington, D.C., and in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, “but (Friday) evening will be the main threat.”
“The heaviest rain might be off to your east in the metro areas, like D.C. and Baltimore,” he said, reminding motorists to be careful driving at night and to be wary of high water.
Due to the risk of flooding, Maryland State Police also urged residents to be careful on the roadways and remember “turn around, don’t drown” if encountering flash-flooding conditions.
“Flash floods can come quickly and without warning during times of excessive rainfall,” police said in a news release Friday. “According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it takes just 12 inches of rushing water to strand a small vehicle, while 24 inches of fast-flowing water can carry away most vehicles.”