Several people had to be rescued, dozens of customers and staff were trapped and vehicles washed away late Thursday as the road leading to Tim's Rivershore Restaurant and Crabhouse flooded in heavy rain.

A hostess at the popular gathering spot on the Potomac River outside Dumfries was rescued by boat after becoming trapped on top of her car in the flood, while another employee had to climb out a back window of his car as it was swept away by rushing water.

About 30 customers were in the restaurant at the end of Cherry Hill Road when the flooding began around 9:30 p.m., Prince William County fire and rescue Assistant Chief Matt Smolsky said.

Fire crews arrived to find four to six vehicles in the rising water, with occupants safely out with the exception of the hostess, who was checked out at the scene and taken home. 

CSX railroad stopped all train traffic during the incident and responded to the scent to evaluate damages. Flash flood warnings were in effect at the time of the incident, Smolsky said.

Those inside the restaurant had to remain there as the flood waters receded. Two people were walked out by medics due to medical conditions.

Owner Tim Bauckman said it wasn't the river that flooded Thursday night, but the road leading to the property instead, which is fronted by railroad tracks.

"It came across the tracks, normally flood water comes from the river side," Bauckman said. "It backed up the whole other side of the tracks."
 
At one point during the flooding, a car got swept into a culvert, plugging up half the culvert, which made the flooding even worse.
 
Bauckman said the road leading in has flooded a few times over the past couple years, "but nothing as bad as this." The restaurant itself didn't flood.
 
 
On Friday morning, crews were out towing flood-damaged cars and clearing debris from the railroad tracks. 

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