Hancock area spared again in weekend flooding

by Geoff Fox

The rain came down hard over the weekend and caused flooding over the region, specifically in neighboring Morgan County in West Virginia. Hancock escaped storms with minor flooding.

The Potomac River was a major concern with projections over the weekend saying the river would rise to just above the flood stage of 30 feet. The river crested at just 26.08 feet on Sunday, June 3.

That depth puts it as the fifteenth highest crest in Hancock’s history, besting the 25.41 feet on May 19, 2011.

The U.S. Geological Survey, which operates the river gauge at the bottom of Church Street, was out Monday morning on the Potomac in Hancock and other local waterways gathering information about river conditions.

Mike Clark of the USGS said two men on a boat were making cross-sections to determine the velocity and depth of the river.

Just before 9 a.m. Monday, Clark said the river level was at 24.91 feet and falling.

A crew from the USGS was out on the Potomac River on Monday morning recording the velocity and depth of the river.

Crews from Washington County Roads Department were out Monday morning repairing damage to a section of Pearre Road west of Hancock.

Clark said USGS was also doing readings at Licking Creek and Tonoloway Creek that morning.

Debris had floated down the river but it was mainly trees, play toys, and trash, Clark added.

No roads in Hancock were closed due to the flooding, however crews from Washington County Roads Department were out Monday morning fixing a small section of Pearre Road that had been damaged from heavy water.

The crew said aside from a tree down on Deneen Road, that spot was the worst they had to fix.

Areas along the C&O Canal that don’t usually have water, such as along Berm Road, were filled with water or had standing water, like the locks at the Bowles House.

On Sunday, Town Manager David Smith said the town hadn’t had much flooding except for small streams and some flooded basements.

On Monday morning, Tonoloway Creek east of town had backwater from the Potomac and backed up to the water treatment facility, Clark said. Tonoloway Creek was measured to be 7.43 feet on Sunday.

In Widmeyer Park, Little Tonoloway had overflowed its banks and had reached Park Road, leaving the pavilions filled with water and some playground equipment submerged.

Fort Frederick reported there were mudslides and fallen trees along the Western Maryland Rail Trail, causing the park to close the 13-mile marker at Locher Road west to the 21-mile marker.