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Tipsheet

D.C. Area Camp Bus Plows Over Flooded Bridge

A video tweeted Monday morning by ABC 7’s transportation reporter Sam Sweeney shows a passenger-filled school bus from Valley Mill Camp crossing a dangerously flooded bridge marked “Sandy Branch” in Montgomery County Maryland, dodging cars on the opposite side as it emerged.

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“A school bus full of children drives through a flooded Glen Rd. in Montgomery County, MD,” Sweeney tweeted, tagging the Montgomery County Department of Police’s account as well as the Twitter account of Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service’s public information officer.

The small school bus, carrying several passengers, is emblazoned with “Valley Mill Camp” on the side. It is numbered 25 on its rear emergency door, and the license plate reads 120 45H.

The 18-second video features a shot of the bus as it approaches a bridge marked “Sandy Branch” on a two-lane road. A pair of SUV-type vehicles, one in each lane, are stopped just short of the briskly flowing water on the opposite side of the bridge. The bus dodges the staggered vehicles after crossing the flooded bridge.

The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency alert including Washington D.C., Arlington VA, and Alexandria VA on Monday morning. Videos documenting harrowing, flood-related situations quickly permeated social media.

“Torrential rainfall crossing DC metro area during the AM commute. Numerous FLASH FLOOD WARNINGS are in effect. Flooding will likely impact normal commuting patterns. If water covers a roadway, FIND ANOTHER ROUTE!” The NWS for DC/Baltimore tweeted at 8:43 a.m.

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Valley Mill summer camp—rated a 2019 winner for Best of DC and Best of Bethesda according to its website—is a sixty-acre, Washington D.C. area camp that “emphasizes the development of group cohesiveness and or resilience through outdoor challenge.” It was established in 1956.

The camp’s website indicates that transportation from Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia is provided for campers, and that the bus ride “provides an opportunity for campers to learn camp songs, make new friends, and share stories about their day at camp.”

Valley Mill summer camp representatives did not respond to multiple requests for comment by press time.

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