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I-295 reopens after flooding caused closure

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Posted at 8:00 AM, Feb 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 17:36:20-05
Heavy rains brought some major flooding along Interstate 295, which was shut down for hours as workers moved in, first waiting on floodwaters to recede... then they were left with a day-long cleanup.
 
From the air, you can see the water that covered much of the Baltimore Washington Parkway swamping a car in the process.
 
But it's from the ground that you get a real sense of the magnitude of the clean up as dump trucks, plows and street sweepers moved in to remove the mud and debris left in the flooding's wake.
 
"It was about up to here on this truck.  That's the water line so we're checking for any damage," said Jessica Levine, the service manager at Baltimore Freightliner on nearby Annapolis Road where the water backed up flooding a number of tractor trailer rigs, "I've had people who have been here for 20-plus years and they say it's never been this bad... that this is the worst they've ever seen it."
 
A small drainage ditch, which runs along the property, lies at the heart of the problem.
 
"It was more than two and a half inches of rain that fell in a really short period of time so it overwhelmed our systems,” said Jeffrey Raymond of Baltimore’s Department of Public Works, “The flooding on 295---that was caused by trash and litter than just got washed downstream and covered up those storm drain grates."
 
The city claims inspectors had checked the ditch for obstructions in recent months, but that provides little consolation for those who are now left with a cleanup of their own.
 
"The drain is clogged and I know the city has not contacted us for any damages or any repairs that they're going to do," said Levine.
 
The northbound lanes of I-295 reopened just before noon, and crews cleared the southbound lanes and re-opened them to traffic a few hours later.
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The storm also contributed to a pair of sewage overflows in the city.
 
A problem in the 1700 block of East Chase Street sent 114,000 gallons of wastewater into the Harbor and another at the Patapsco Wastewater Treatment Facility in Wagner's Point sent 50,000 gallons into the nearby river.