Chesapeake Bay Clogged With Debris After Historic Rainfall

A stream of debris flushed into the Chesapeake Bay because of flooding from intense rainfall in Maryland. 

After the floodgates of the Conowingo Dam were opened, water rushed down from the Susquehanna River, carrying large clumps of sticks and twigs.

Now, the Chesapeake is so clogged that Maryland Natural Resources Police issued an advisory to boaters, warning of the potential danger of the large debris floating on the water.

"If you have to be out, then just be cautious of your speed," Sgt. Cameron Brown said.

Brown noted that while some debris is visible on the surface, dangers may lurk underwater. 

Boaters faced issues while guiding their boats back to docks, trying to avoid debris. 

"We heard two pieces hit the hull with some good force, now our engine is acting a little bit different," Kara Wilder said.


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At Sandy State Park, the shores were littered with clumps of tree trunks and driftwood from the river. An advisory was issued for beachgoers to not swim and to look out for debris. The park remains open for non-swimming activities like fishing, and boaters can still launch from the park's boat ramps but are advised to be cautious of the debris.

Debris cleanup is underway as more rain is expected in Maryland.  Maryland will cooperate with officials from Pennsylvania, where most of the debris came from.

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