KENT ISLAND — Morning storms swept across Queen Anne's County leaving high, standing water in many areas. With the arrival of heavy rainfall beginning around 9:30 a.m. Thursday, the county's emergency services issued multiple warnings to area residents. The first burst of storms caused what one resident called ground shaking thunder.
Among those areas affected by the rainfall and widespread flooding: Centreville Wharf, Ellendale community, Cloverfields, Main Street in Grasonville, Queenstown, and parts of Route 18 in Chester.
At least two vehicles were reported stranded by high water, a van in the area of Main Street and Melvin Avenue in Grasonville and a Jeep in the Chester Safeway parking lot.
According to Jessica Milligan with the Queen Anne's County Sheriff's Office, two soldiers, came quickly to the aid of the driver whose leg was stuck in the vehicle. Unable to open the vehicle's door, the sunroof had to be broken and the two soldiers held the drivers head above water until fire and EMS could arrive.
The two Maryland Army National Guard Soldiers assigned to the 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, Staff Sgt. Scott E. Kreiner and Spc. Christopher A. Dutcher, sprung into action to provide lifesaving measures to the driver of the sinking vehicle.
"Today, as floodwaters impacted many areas of the state, we saw another example of heroism and selflessness from two of our own, said National Guard Brig. Gen. Janeen L. Birckhead, assistant adjutant general for Maryland, "Staff Sgt. Scott E. Kreiner and Spc. Christopher A. Dutcher, assigned to the 1st Battalion, 175th Infantry Regiment, put their own safety aside to save a fellow Marylander in distress from flooding waters. I thank these troops for their courage and I'm so happy everyone is safe."
The Jeep had to be pulled out of the high-standing water by Kent Island Volunteer Fire Department, Milligan said, before the door could be pried open. There were no injuries as a result of the incident.
"Our community is so blessed to have such heroic first responders. It doesn't matter what your uniform looks like or what the mission may be, our first responders and military are always on the front lines jumping in to protect our community. It's teamwork and we appreciate all of those heroes, as we saw today and everyday," added Sheriff Gary Hofmann.
The Queen Anne's Sheriff Office urged motorists to not drive through flooded roadways; and in conjunction with public works and the State Highway Department temporarily closed portions of Route 18.
The storms impacted several communities across the Delmarva with flooding reported in many low lying and coastal areas, including Dorchester counties and St. Michaels.