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Gov. declares emergency for Western Md. flooding

CLEAR SPRING — Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley declared a state of emergency Friday in Allegany and Washington counties due to severe flooding from recent rains.

The declaration allows the state to assist local agencies with recovery efforts. It also allows for assessment of damaged infrastructure for possible federal assistance.

Washington County officials were urging people who live along Conococheague (kah-nah-kah-CHEEG’) Creek to consider moving to higher ground Friday, and the National Weather Service forecast major flooding. County highway officials say a 5-mile section of U.S. 40 from Clear Spring to Big Pool was closed after flash flooding Thursday.

Building inspectors were assessing the safety of about 20 homes in Clear Spring after dozens of residents were evacuated.

The Cumberland Times-News reports numerous rescues and building collapses in Cresaptown and Bowling Green.

On Friday, the American Red Cross of the Chesapeake Region said it had assisted more than 20 people with food, clothing, shelter and medical aid in Clear Spring. Displaced residents were being sent to Clear Spring High School for assistance. The charity was also accepting nonperishable food items at several locations to help the flood victims.