Flooding Threat Remains Low For Region | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Flooding Threat Remains Low For Region

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By Matt Bush

Despite recent rains, the U.S. Geological Survey says the threat of flooding in the DC-region remains low.

The USGS says real threat of flooding is posed by fast, intense storms, like the one that hit the region Thursday. Ed Doheny is a USGS hydrologist in Baltimore.

He says the ground can't absorb water in such storms.

"When the water just hits the ground very fast at a high rate, it does not have time to soak into the ground," Doheny says. "It's kind of like dumping a bucket of water onto the pavement or onto the ground and it will just runoff."

Doheny adds the threat of runoff is greater in urban areas, where there is more pavement than ground.

As an example, he says Turkey Branch, a tributary of Rock Creek, rose more than 8 feet in just 30 minutes on Thursday -- the fastest rise in that creek the USGS has ever seen.

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