Citizens are urged to take the necessary precautions.
Frederick, Md (KM). Even though Hurricane Florence is expected to take a more southerly track away from Maryland, Frederick County officials are taking no chances. “The impact from Florence could be historic,” says County Executive Jan Gardner. “Even with the storm tracking further south than we initially though. Frederick County can still expect flooding, high wind and power outages over the next few days.”
During a news conference on Wednesday, Gardner said the county is especially susceptible to flooding due to heavy rains in the spring and the summer. “The ground here is clearly already saturated. There is no place for the rain to go. We know that it doesn’t take a lot of rain for us to see flash flooding in the county and to experience significant flooding in roadways. People may see it in their homes and basement,” she says.
“Tornadoes are also possible during this storm. With high winds and saturated soil, trees can easily topple, bringing down power lines with them. And as the water recedes, we can expect sinkholes to open as well,” Gardner says.
She says the County is taking action in case the hurricane affects our area, including checking for proper storm drainage, fueling the equipment and stocking up on supplies. “We have 4,000 sandbags and sand on hand for county facilities. We’ve also brought in stone in case we need to make emergency repairs to roads in case of flooding,” Gardner says.
Crews have staged barricades and signs at locations where floods are common, along with cleaning out pipes with debris in front of them . “The County’s Senior Services Division has reached out to Meals-On-Wheels clients and others who receive home-delivered meals. When necessary, shelf-stable foods are being delivered where it may be too dangerous to deliver to a client’s home,” says Gardner.
The County Health Department has been in contact with long term care facilities and dialysis centers about long term storm impacts, she says.
But citizens also need to get ready. County Executive Gardner says they need to have a plan, and make sure their supplies of non-perishable foods and water are adequate. Along with that, residents need to refill any prescriptions they have, and have flashlights, fresh batteries and a portable radio on hand. And make sure all their devices are charged up, especially cell phones.
“We’ve been very fortunate in Maryland at least for the track of this storm to take a southwestern turn away from Maryland. so the primary impacts are not likely to be what they were originally were looking like earlier in the week,” says Jack Markey, Frederick County Director of Emergency Management. “We’re asking the same actions of our citizens. This is an historically strong storm.”
County Executive Gardner compares it to Hurricane Agnes which came through the area in 1972. She says after the storm was over, most of the bridges in Frederick County had to be rebuilt.
By Kevin McManus