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Laurel homes, businesses evacuated as dams open

LAUREL — Up to six inches of rain fell overnight in some areas along the Patuxent River, where dam flood gates have been opened, prompting evacuations.

Calvin Meadows, a National Weather Service meteorological technician, says six inches fell in Damascus overnight and parts of Howard County had nearly four inches by Thursday morning.

Homes and businesses in Laurel are being evacuated because of rains that have prompted the opening of dams on the Patuxent.

Laurel city spokesman Pete Piringer says the evacuations were ordered Thursday morning and affect several hundred people in the city’s historic district.

The National Weather Service says the water releases will likely cause higher water levels than the area has seen in many years. Areas likely to flood include Laurel and Bowie.

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