Heavy showers and thunderstorms rolled across the Baltimore region Tuesday evening, downing trees, flooding roadways and stranding numerous motorists.
First responders performed multiple water rescues in Baltimore City, according to the National Weather Service. Water flowed wheel-deep on some portions of Wabash Avenue, stranding several vehicles. Ridgewood Road and Loch Raven Boulevard also saw flooding.
Some footbridges were completely submerged as water levels rose up to 13 feet in places including Gwynns Falls at Washington Boulevard, portions of Beach Drive, Riley Springs trailbridge and Rapids Footbridge.
Baltimore City Councilwoman Odette Ramos posted photos and footage of severe flooding at 35th Street and Hillen Road, where she was redirecting cars Tuesday evening. Water levels, she said, came up to her waist in some areas.
“This is an ongoing issue for decades and getting worse,” she said in an Instagram post Wednesday morning. Ramos referenced a $5 million infrastructure project slated for 2024 that aims to eliminate flooding at the intersection, which has suffered from flash flooding for years.
“Residents have endured enough,” her post states. “The infrastructure project can’t come soon enough!!”
Buoys and automated weather observing systems recorded wind gusts up to 62 mph in some places, according to the National Weather Service. Harford County and Baltimore County were under a tornado warning and a severe thunderstorm warning until 12:30 a.m.
Early Wednesday morning, lingering debris from the storms caused trouble for commuters. A WBAL television news crew witnessed a motorcyclist crash into a downed tree near the intersection of Northern Parkway and North Charles Street.
In Baltimore County, the National Weather Service says water levels rapidly rose 11 feet along Whitemarsh Run. The water covered parking lots near the stream, particularly near the Town Center Court. Torrential rains and high water also stranded drivers in Pikesville, Arbutus and Parkville. A large tree was downed at the intersection of Ebenezer Road and Meyers Lane near Nottingham. Some roads in Essex closed due to high water.
Showers and storms are possible Wednesday morning before we start to see improvements during the afternoon. Expect highs near 80.
By Thursday and Friday, Canadian high pressure will bring an extended stretch of comfortable weather with low humidity. Expect highs in the upper 70s Thursday and Friday.
Storms are still brewing in the tropics and the Atlantic, with the focus still on Hurricane Lee, currently a category 3 storm. Lee will likely parallel the East Coast of the United States as it curves northward.
The storm is expected to continue to generate large swells and dangerous rip currents to Maryland and Delaware beaches the rest of this week into the weekend. But right now, Maryland is not expected to see direct impacts from Lee.
People along the eastern New England coastline and parts of southeast Canada will need to continue to watch Lee’s forecast path, as the storm has a higher chance of giving them possible direct impacts.
Additional reporting by WJZ meteorologist Steve Sosna.