Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Storm Aftereffects

Today the rains cleared and the sun came out again. I walked over to the Indian Museum to see what was going on in the wetlands. One of the red-winged blackbirds was again foraging by walking on the lilypads. It is amazing that it does not slip and fall into the water.

On a more serious note, the extra water is causing problems along the waterways, most seriously in the Rock Creek watershed.

In Montgomery County, emergency crews had knocked on the doors of 700 houses and 500 apartments by 5:45 a.m. today. They told those who answered to grab any necessary medications and other essentials and evacuate, because the dam holding back the waters of nearby Lake Needwood was leaking and could fail.

County Chief Administrative Officer Bruce Romer said 2,233 people were evacuated and 99 people refused to leave their homes. At 178 of the residences, no one answered the door....

County officials received the first reports of leaks in the earthen dam about 7 p.m., Romer said. The water level for the 75-acre lake was more than 25 feet above normal. Officials said engineers began working at daylight to determine if the leaks could be repaired or the dam otherwise shored up. They said waters appeared to have stopped rising for now.

Lake Needwood is in the Montgomery County portion of Rock Creek Park, along the creek's western branch.