Laurel dam opened ahead of expected rainfall


LAUREL, Md. (AP) — The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission is releasing water from a dam in Laurel ahead of a storm expected bring heavy rains to the mid-Atlantic region.

WSSC says it began releasing water from the T. Howard Duckett Dam along the Patuxent River on Tuesday as a precaution to protect the structure as the rain begins Thursday night. Flash flood and severe thunderstorm watches have been issued around the region.

Downstream, Laurel officials say water was spilling over the river's banks by Thursday morning and Riverfront Park Path was closed. The American Legion commuter parking lot will be closed Friday in anticipation of flooding.

Two weeks ago, flooding forced Laurel officials to evacuated homes along the river after the dam was opened during a rainstorm.

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