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Campers Rescued from Potomac River Flood

April 18, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

Two groups of campers were rescued from the rising waters of the Potomac River early today (April 18), the Gaithersburg, Md., Gazette reported.

Two adults and two children who had been bicycling west along the C&O Canal towpath camped overnight Sunday in the Marble Quarry campground in Dickerson Conservation Park, near the Frederick County line.

They woke up about 3:45 a.m. to find the water rising, so they headed up the towpath toward Dickerson. The water was rising even faster there and they called 911.

When a rescue crew reached the group, they were waist deep in water, said Asst. Chief Scott Graham of the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service. A U.S. Park Police helicopter aided in the rescue, Graham said.

About 15 minutes later, emergency crews received a call that a Boy Scout troop camping at Whites Ferry in Poolesville was surrounded by water, Graham said. The troop had also been heading west toward Cumberland.

“The river rose through the night and created an island, cutting them off from the street,” Graham said.

A Maryland State Police helicopter helped fire and rescue crew boats to bring the 14 scouts and six leaders to safety, Graham said.

He had no more information about the troop or the other rescued group, except to say no one was injured.

All 24 of the rescued were taken to the Upper Montgomery County Volunteer Fire Department in Beallsville, where they called for rides home, Graham said.

The Potomac River crested at 23 feet at 8 a.m., about twice the normal high tide, he said.

The National Weather Service has extended flood warnings along the Potomac River through noon Tuesday.

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