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Anifa Kiwanuka, 26, dies in Laurel, Md. Flooding

3:22 PM, Feb 1, 2013   |    comments
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LAUREL, Md. (WUSA) -- The woman who drowned in Laurel after flood waters rose on Wednesday evening has been identified by authorities. 

Anifa Kiwanuka, 26, died when the water rushed through a tented camp in a wooded area near Laurel, officials said. 

Laurel Mayor, Craig A. Moe, had declared a civil emergency due to flooding on Friday.

Officials say the city activated its Emergency Operation Center on Thursday in anticipation of potential flooding due to the opening of area flood gates.

Officials say the opening of the flood gates on the Brighton and Duckett dams started Wednesday night, and is routine in many states to relieve pressure on the dams.

Chief Spokesperson, Pete Piringer, says some of the banks downstream from the Duckett dam have already overflowed.

Piringer predicts that there will be mandatory evacuations downstream from the dam as the flood gates continue to open.

Laurel Officials say that the dam was actually low and could have handled about two inches of rain but since upper Montgomery County received four inches, the flood gates had to be opened to protect the dams.

Officials are predicting some flooding in the historic district of Laurel.

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