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Boy Scouts, others stranded by high water

April 18, 2011 - 05:57 AM
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Photo: Jummy Olabanji/ABC7

A camping Boy Scout troop of 24 boys and adults were rescued from a White's Ferry campground after they were left stranded when their exit route flooded.

Chief Scott Graham, Montgomery County Fire and EMS, says the troop set up their campsite overnight as they were hiking the C &O Canal. During the night, the Potomac River rose and cut them off from the road leading into White’s Ferry. Although they were on dry ground, the troop had no way to exit, Graham said.

Rescue crews were called around 4 a.m. Monday. Upon arrival, Maryland State Police helicopters rescued the first group while personnel organized shuttle boats to transport the remaining people to safety.

No injuries were reported. Graham says the troop members are now on warm busses waiting to be reunited with their families.

In a similar incident, Graham says, four people, two adults and two kids, were rescued after being stranded by high water at Marbles Query Campground at the Dickerson Conservation Park.

Around 3:30 a.m. Monday, Graham says, the group was biking along the C&O Canal and decided to camp out overnight. When the Potomac River rose, the group began to walk to safety, but encountered waist-high water levels. Shuttle boats rescued them. No injuries were reported.

Officials across the area are warning people to stay away because the standing water could be more dangerous than it looks.

"We would recommend that anybody over the next couple of days -- Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday -- that are planning on outdoor activities near or by rivers, streams, or bodies of water that tend to rise after heavy rains ... to avoid those areas," Graham said.

John Aliyetti, who lives on the Leesburg side of the river, said, "It's amazing. I've never seen it (the river) this high."

(Photo: Mike Rudd/ABC7)

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