Approximately 70 Berwyn Heights residents were evacuated from their homes after torrential rain Tuesday morning sent water rushing down streets and flooded some basements with as much as five feet of water, Prince George’s County officials said.
The heaviest flooding occurred on 59th Avenue, where one resident told a firefighter the flash flood looked like “a wall of water coming down,” said Mark Brady, a spokesman for the county’s Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department. The fire department rescued 25 motorists from nearby intersections in College Park, Riverdale Park and Hyattsville, where some of them had climbed to the roofs of their cars to escape flood waters that reached as high as the car windows.
Residents from 24 homes, most of them on 59th Avenue, were evacuated to a nearby shelter at Berwyn Heights Elementary School, where the American Red Cross is providing assistance.
Brady said heavy rainfall between about 9:30 and 11 a.m. was too much for the sewage system to handle, causing the flash flood.
“This one was significant in that it was concentrated in a certain geographical area,” he said. He said the last time the College Park area saw a flash flood of this magnitude was 5 years ago.
Brady warned that the already saturated area could see additional flooding if there is more rain in the next few days.
No injuries were reported.