Flash flood emergency warnings have been issued for several parts of Maryland Saturday evening as heavy rain threatened normal life in the region. Authorities warned residents to move to higher grounds while first responders worked to fix the power outages.
"Move to higher ground now. This is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening situation," the weather service, said in a warning issued at 10:40 p.m. "Do not attempt to travel unless you are fleeing an area subject to flooding or under an evacuation order."
Police reportedly said that several people were trapped in partially submerged vehicles. Severe thunderstorm warnings have also been issued for parts of Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Carroll, Frederick, Howard and Montgomery counties.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. reported nearly 80 power outages in the Baltimore region, affecting more than 4,000 people, according to Baltimore Sun. In Ellicott City, officials said several cars were carried off by rising waters in the roads. Several buildings have also received extensive damage due to heavy rain and wind gusts.
The National Weather Service warned of the possibility of 60 mph wind gusts that could uproot trees, damage property and block roads.
Howard County's Department of Fire and Rescue Services said on its social media accounts that it is "responding to numerous swift water vehicle rescues." Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman declared a state of emergency late Saturday.
A statement posted on the county's Facebook page said "doing this will allow the County to access state resources to assist areas impacted by tonight's flooding."