1 dead, 1 unaccounted for after apartment complex floods

ROCKVILLE, Md. (AP) — The National Weather Service tentatively confirmed the touchdown of a tornado in Maryland’s Anne Arundel County early Wednesday afternoon as the remnants of Hurricane Ida moved across the state.

Meteorologist Ray Martin said there have been reports of damage in the communities of Riva and Woodland Beach, which sit on or near the Chesapeake Bay.

The county’s fire department tweeted that agencies were investigating storm damage in areas including Londontown, Mayo and Edgewater. The fire department said that no injuries had been reported at that point.

In Annapolis, the storm tore shingles off roofs. Clumps of soggy insulation could be seen hanging in trees in one neighborhood near a busy commercial street that also had damage. Alexis Davis said she could see shingles whirling in the air when she looked out of her window.

“I heard a lot of noise and a lot of wind,” Davis said, as she stood by a tree that had fallen in her yard. “I thought it was rain, so I got up and looked out my window, and that’s when I noticed a lot of things were flying up inside of the air.”

In addition, the Annapolis Fire Department said on its Twitter page that Baltimore Gas and Electric reported several gas leaks and that several thousand businesses and residents were without power Wednesday evening.

A tornado watch remained in effect for the Washington-Baltimore region for Wednesday afternoon.

Earlier in the day, heavy rains from the remnants of Ida flooded an apartment complex in Rockville, leaving a 19-year-old person dead, the Montgomery County Police Department said in a news release. The person was not identified. One other resident from the complex was still unaccounted for, police said.

Shortly before 4 a.m. Wednesday, authorities received multiple calls for flooding in terrace level apartments of the Rock Creek Woods apartment complex, police said. Rescue crews evacuated dozens of people.

About 12 apartments were flooded, while another 50 were affected. About 150 residents have been displaced. Three people were transported to area hospitals for injuries that were not considered life-threatening. A firefighter was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

News outlets quoted Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein as saying the water had almost reached the ceiling when crews arrived at the apartments in Rockville.

“In many years I have not seen circumstances like this,” Goldstein said.

Maryland’s Emergency Operations Center was activated to “partial” status to support the response to flooding around the state, Maryland Emergency Management Agency said. Schools in Baltimore city and Baltimore, Howard and Harford counties planned to close early on Wednesday because of the inclement weather.

Floodwaters closed many roads around the area and forecasters expected more heavy storms throughout the day.

The Maryland Transportation Authority prohibited two-way traffic on the Bay Bridge because of the inclement weather. The authority also prohibited house trailers, empty box trailers and other vehicles that are deemed unsafe for crossing the bridge when winds of 40 mph (64 kph) or more last longer than 15 minutes.