Cumberland Times-News

Local News

January 31, 2013

Woman drowns as homeless camp floods

LAUREL — A woman apparently drowned as rains flooded a homeless camp and dam gates were opened on swollen Patuxent River reservoirs, prompting the evacuation of hundreds Thursday.

Anne Arundel County police said the unidentified woman died in the homeless camp in Maryland City. The body was found about 11:25 a.m. Thursday in a wooded area at Route 198 and Laurel Racetrack Road where homeless people live in tents. The death apparently occurred before dams were opened on the Patuxent River, Lt. T.J. Smith said.

Police said a 911 call was received about a body floating in the water. Firefighters were already on the scene and retrieved the body from the rising waters. Authorities said a passer-by told the woman to leave the area between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. Wednesday because it was not safe.

The victim is believed to be homeless.

Ernest Moran, who lives in the camp, said about 15 people live in tents at the site and he escaped the rising waters with only his dog and a knapsack. Debris from the tent city was seen floating in the floodwaters from the Patuxent.

Another resident of the tent city, who identified himself as Mateo, said he left through 4 feet of water about 10 a.m. Thursday, leaving almost all of his possessions behind. He had spent most of the morning walking outside, exposed and shivering in soaking wet clothes, worried if some of his friends had gotten out safely.

Up to 6 inches of rain fell overnight in some areas along the Patuxent River, the National Weather Service said, noting the dam releases will likely cause higher water levels than the area has seen in many years.

Laurel city spokesman Pete Piringer said the voluntary evacuations could affect as many as 2,000 people, with some large apartment complexes along the river in the evacuation zone.

Many people were not evacuating, though.

Dottie Williams, a resident of Selborne House, an apartment complex for seniors, decided to stay in the building after she was told by her property manager it would be OK. She said she understood, though, why others would evacuate as a precaution.

Laurel Mayor Craig Moe said it had been nearly 40 years since he could remember flooding in the city as bad as this. Still, he said there had been no injuries in the city.

At the Howard-Prince George’s County line, Laurel resident Courtney Finney watched floodwaters rise to the base of an overpass on southbound U.S. 1, which was closed to traffic.

“As long as I’ve lived in Laurel — 11 years — I’ve never seen it like this,” she said.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds Cemetery group’s efforts revive Oak Hill grounds

    After you drive Alexander and Furnace streets then navigate a couple of switchbacks on Cemetery Road, you’d figure there would be no more uphill.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Proposed county budget holds most agencies flat

    After taking into account an income tax shortfall, Allegany County Finance Director Jason Bennett said he’ll propose a budget that holds most outside agencies to flat funding and funds the Board of Education at what county officials say are maintenence of effort levels for 2015.

    April 17, 2014

  • RYAN WOLF Wolf named 2014-15 Garrett Teacher of the Year

    Southern Garrett High School teacher Ryan Wolf has been named the 2014-15 Garrett County Teacher of the Year.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock Rep. Delaney discusses congressional gridlock

    While giving a civics lesson at Frostburg State University on Thursday, U.S. Rep. John Delaney, congressman from Maryland’s sixth district, told students that the polarization in Congress is due primarily to redistricting and a poorly designed Congressional schedule.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fourmile Ridge wind project approved, moves forward

    The Federal Aviation Administration has approved the Fourmile Ridge wind project in eastern Garrett County and site preparation started April 7, according to Frank Maisano, a wind industry spokesman. The current notice listed on the FAA website for the project is for a small change in turbine location.

    April 17, 2014

  • Oakland back to normal after toppled tanker closes business district

    The town of Oakland returned to normal activities Thursday, one day after a tanker full of liquid propane overturned in the heart of the business district.
    Shortly after 8 p.m. Wednesday the toppled tanker was removed and its 10,000-gallon load transferred to another tanker.

    April 17, 2014

  • Students back Southern Middle School renovation

    Students from both Southern and Northern middle schools presented a list of reasons why Southern Middle needs to be renovated during the Garrett County Commission meeting Tuesday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Trial run Trial run

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo 72nd anniversary of Doolittle Raid on Tokyo

    Friday, April 18, has another special meaning for me besides Good Friday.
    April 18, 1942, proved to be a pivotal day for American morale, following the deadly air attack and destruction conceived and executed by Japanese Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lara Courrier seeks re-appointment to Mineral school board

    I, Lara Courrier, am seeking re-election to the Mineral County Board of Education to continue the work I’ve done the last four years. Having served as a school counselor at the Burlington Center School and the Chick Buckbee Juvenile Center for nearly six years, as well as approximately 20 years total working with children, I have insight into the needs of kids and the importance of the actions of the school board. Having three sons and several nieces and nephews in Mineral County schools, I have an added incentive to continue to work hard to ensure the efficient running of our school system. 

    April 17, 2014