Governor declares state of emergency in Maryland.
Frederick, Md (KM). Meteorologists are watching the track of Hurricane Florence. As of Monday night, the latest projections are that the storm, which was upgraded to a Category 4 Hurricane on Monday, will make landfall near the border between North and South Carolina. But it will also affect Virginia, especially near the Hampton Roads area.
Ed McDonough with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, says the hurricane will impact Maryland. “Given the current uncertainly of exactly where it’s going to go after it makes landfall, it could affect anywhere from Garrett County to Ocean City,” he says.
Governor Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency for Maryland. While the track of the storm is still uncertain, the Governor says state officials are “preparing for the potential of historic, catastrophic and life-threatening flooding in Maryland.” During a news conference on Monday, Hogan said this declaration of a state of emergency ensures that all necessary resources are directed to areas with the greatest potential need.
McDonough says one of the biggest dangers from a storm like Florence is the flooding because the ground in the state is already saturated from heavy rains this year in the spring and summer. . “Everywhere from Garrett County on over to Baltimore city has had serious flood damage from some of the storms so far. And much Maryland has had water rescues, people’s vehicle getting caught in high water and what not,” he says. “It’s been pretty rough all over the state. The damages have been a little more severe in the west central and central parts of the state.”
While state and local officials are getting ready for the storm, Frederick County Director of Emergency Preparedness, Dennis Dudley, says it’s also important for residents to get ready. “We need to be prepared for rains, possible wind damage, and we’re already in a flood stage with the Monocacy and the Potomac. So with more rain coming in over the week and weekend, the potential for flash flooding is very high,” he says.
Dudley says residents need to check their emergency kits to make sure they’re adequately stocked. “Your 72-hours of water and food; battery powered radio, flashlights, spare batteries; personal items that you need; birth certificate; cash money in case the ATM’s go down; and prescription medications,” he says.
In addition, Dudley get your house prepared for the heavy rains and high winds which could accompany this storm. “Clear your drains. Secure items in your yard. Elevate items in your basement in case your basement floods; check your sump pumps. And make sure you have everything clear around your house that so you’re not affected by high winds and water,” he says.
And don’t drive through standing water. “Stay out of flooded areas. There’s possible hazardous materials in that water. Possible dirty water from water treatment plants being shut down to prevent damage to them., as well power lines being down. Those power lines could also be in the water so it’s really not worth the risk to drive through high water,” he says.
If you want to stay up to date on emergencies around the county, Dudley strongly recommends you log on to www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/alert. You will be sent alerts in the areas near your home, your work place and your children’s schools. The alerts will be sent via text message, e-mails or phone calls.
By Kevin McManus