- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 4, 2003

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) The swollen Potomac River sloshed over its banks yesterday, causing minor flooding 50 miles upstream from the District as rain continued to soak the watershed.
High water at Whites Ferry in Dickerson caused operators of the Jubal T. Early to shut down ferry service linking western Montgomery County and Loudoun County, Va., on New Year's Day.
"It's six feet over running level," said Richard Brown, a manager at the ferry service, which transports at least 300 commuters daily across the Potomac. He said running level is 10 feet, and the 16-foot crest was yesterday afternoon, two days after flash-flood warnings were issued.
No flooding was expected near the District although waters were higher than normal.
The Potomac crested yesterday morning a few inches above its 16-foot flood stage at Point of Rocks, the National Weather Service reported. The river had dropped below flood stage by 11 a.m. as the crest moved downstream.
Bruce Lamm, manager of Kerrigan's Liquors in Point of Rocks, said the high water posed no threat to buildings in the riverside town.
"It has to get up to at least 28 or 30 feet to affect anything," Mr. Lamm said.
The Potomac River had reached 16.6 feet, or 1.6 feet above flood stage, earlier in the day at Shepherdstown, W.Va.
Several boat ramps were inundated in the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park on the river's Maryland side, spokeswoman Kathy Sholl said.
"We've got minor flooding, but we're in pretty good shape," she said.
The National Weather Service canceled flood warnings it had issued for two Potomac tributaries, saying fluctuating water levels would not become hazardous on the Conococheague Creek west of Hagerstown and Opequon Creek near Martinsburg, W.Va.
Those streams were receding yesterday after overflowing Thursday due to heavy rain on New Year's Day.
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources advised people to avoid recreational use of the Potomac River from Cumberland to Little Falls, near the Maryland-D.C. border, through today.

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