From Harford County government:
Harford County Urges Citizens to Prepare for Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence is expected to hit south of Maryland later this week, but Harford County citizens should prepare now for local impacts including flooding and power outages. Above average rainfall this spring and summer have soaked the ground and swelled area waterways, increasing the potential for hazards including floods and trees falling on power lines.
“Harford County is still feeling the effects of flash floods on Labor Day weekend that required more than 20 swift water rescues and caused a tragic loss of life,” County Executive Barry Glassman said. “With Hurricane Florence, we have some time to prepare for this storm and others that may arise throughout hurricane season. Please use this time to make a plan to protect yourself and your loved ones.”
Remember to avoid walking or driving through flooded roadways. Just six inches of moving water can knock you down or stall your vehicle, and two feet of moving water can sweep your vehicle away. Heed the warning to “turn around, don’t drown.” Storm-related county road closures can be tracked online at http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/1164/Road-Reports . Storm-related updates will be posted on the Facebook pages for Harford County Government and the Harford County Department of Emergency Services. The Department also offers the following safety information for Hurricane Florence and hurricane season:
· Sign up now to receive Harford County’s emergency alerts: https://harfordcounty.bbcportal.com/
· Secure outdoor objects or bring them inside; clear loose and clogged rain gutters, downspouts and storm drains when it is safe to do so before the storm
· Ensure that cell phones and other mobile devices are fully charged
· Familiarize yourself with emergency evacuation routes and high ground in your area; identify a place where family members will meet if necessary
· Do not use generators indoors including your garage or basement; generators should only be used outdoors in a well-ventilated area away from windows
· Have an emergency supply kit ready with a minimum of 3 to 7 days of nonperishable food and water (a minimum of 1 gallon of water per person per day)
· Place copies of important documents and phone numbers along with cash in a sealed plastic bag in your supply kit
· Remember to stock food and water for your pets
· Check your supply of prescription medicines and ensure that you have extra on hand
· Check in on elderly neighbors or anyone without a support network
· Monitor weather conditions and follow instructions when issued
· Prepare a battery-powered radio; stay tuned to radio station WXCY 103.7 FM and local TV news for official weather information
· Make a note of the Harford County Information Line, which may become activated for non-emergency information during a storm: 410-838-5800
For more hurricane safety information, please visit http://www.harfordcountymd.gov/1976/HurricanesTropical-Storms.
From the Office of the Governor of Maryland:
Governor Larry Hogan Declares State of Emergency for Hurricane Florence
Executive Order Issued Ahead of Storm Making Projected Landfall on the U.S. East Coast
Governor Larry Hogan today signed Executive Order 01.01.2018.22 declaring a state of emergency beginning Monday, September 10, 2018 ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Florence. The executive order will allow the state to more efficiently coordinate support and provide assistance to local jurisdictions within Maryland and neighboring states.
“At this time, there is still some uncertainty about the track of this storm and its potential impact, but we are preparing for any possible outcome, including the potential of historic, catastrophic, and life-threatening flooding in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state is taking every precaution, and I urge all Marylanders to do the same. Stay tuned to your local news stations for the latest updates, listen to state and local authorities, and most importantly, use common sense.”
Weather forecasters have indicated that there is the potential for life-threatening conditions, including catastrophic flooding as well as high winds and dangerous conditions in our waterways. Current forecasts indicate that torrential rains, tropical storm force winds, and tidal flooding/storm surge could impact the state beginning as early as Thursday. The state’s Emergency Operations Center Response Level has been elevated, and the center is fully staffed with emergency management personnel and state agency coordinating function representatives.
The state of emergency allows the governor to access critical resources in order to increase the state’s response, like the Maryland National Guard. It also allows Maryland to receive assistance from other states as part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact. This compact serves as the cornerstone of the nation’s mutual aid system and offers assistance and aid during states of emergency through member states.
“A state of emergency is a good indicator that residents should remain alert and follow officials’ orders, news stations, and weather forecasts in order to be informed of the situation,” said MEMA’s Executive Director, Russell Strickland. “We encourage all residents and visitors to our State to visit www.KnowYourZoneMD.com to see if they are inside, or if they are traveling to, a hurricane evacuation zone,” he added.
Governor Hogan has directed state agencies to stand ready to respond to the effects of this storm, including the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). For more information, residents can also go to MEMA’s website at mema.maryland.gov, follow MEMA’s Twitter feed at @MDMEMA, or follow MEMA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MDMEMA.
From the Maryland Department of Transportation:
MDOT SHA PREPARES FOR HURRICANE FLORENCE
Entire State to Experience Significant Rainfall and High Winds
As Hurricane Florence moves closer to the east coast, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is deploying maintenance forces throughout the state to begin preparations for the storm and its impacts. MDOT SHA crews will inspect, clean and clear storm water ditches, drains and inlets to ensure adequate drainage.
Crews from MDOT SHA maintenance facilities are also evaluating all emergency response equipment such as high water signs, chain saws, chippers, loaders and grading trucks. Additionally, crews are ensuring that all generators are fully topped off and functional in case of power outages. Generators will keep maintenance shop operational, especially the fuel pumps, to keep crews in continual response mode.
Motorists are encouraged to monitor the weather conditions, and if possible, avoid driving in any hazardous conditions.
“This is a major storm system, and it will likely cause significant damage and disruption to the state highway system,” said MDOT SHA Administrator Gregory Slater. “Maryland has received above-normal rainfall throughout summer and the ground is saturated so additional rain is likely to run-off rapidly.”
Motorists are reminded to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” A majority of flood-related deaths occur in vehicles. Two feet of rapidly moving water can float a bus and six inches is capable of knocking a person off their feet. Other advice includes:
Avoid downed or damaged power and transmission lines as these could still be live;
Be cognizant of fallen trees or tree limbs; and
Remain alert for wild animals, such as deer, that may flee dangerous areas and cross roadways.
In additional to high-water, the approaching storm could result in scattered power outages. MDOT SHA reminds motorists that if you encounter an intersection where traffic signals are without power, treat all directions of the intersection as a four-way stop.
SHA also advises motorists to stay aware of the forecast and, should heavy rain and high wind begin to affect the area, curtail travel as much as possible. Click here for information about flooded roads.
Drivers are encouraged to get the latest information by logging onto www.md511.org. The site provides real-time information about road closures and provides access to live traffic cameras. It is also recommended that citizens follow MDOT SHA on Facebook at Maryland State Highway Administration and Twitter @MDSHA.