Laurel Flooding Investigated

By Tracee Wilkins
|  Friday, Feb 1, 2013  |  Updated 10:27 PM EDT
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Laurel business owners think the WSSC should have opened flood gates sooner this week to keep flooding to a minimum during heavy rain. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins got a response Friday from WSSC.

Tracee Wilkins

Laurel business owners think the WSSC should have opened flood gates sooner this week to keep flooding to a minimum during heavy rain. Prince George's County Bureau Chief Tracee Wilkins got a response Friday from WSSC.

The floodwaters receded in Laurel, Md., but there are still questions about the response to this week's heavy rain and why officials waited so long to open flood gates along the Patuxent River.

Levels at the river’s reservoirs got 8 feet above average some places Thursday. At 2 a.m., the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission knew more water would have to be released and got in touch with Laurel.

That decision caused some panic downstream. Laurel officials decided to order a voluntary evacuation of businesses and homes near the river. A woman at a homeless camp drowned, and a man was injured.

Laurel Mayor Craig Moe said he would follow up with WSSC officials about why high water levels were a surprise.

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