The storm system that will affect the entire state of Maryland beginning Thursday evening is expected to bring extreme wind and rain across Maryland. The most dangerous conditions are forecast to begin by 6 a.m. Friday morning, with gusty winds continuing throughout the weekend.
“I urge all Marylanders to take this severe weather very seriously and prepare now,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “These wind speeds have the potential of causing power outages and creating hazardous conditions for travel and being outdoors starting Friday morning. Be sure to check on your family, friends, and neighbors so that we all are prepared for this rare and potentially very dangerous weather event.”
Wind gusts of up to 70 or more miles per hour are forecast for tomorrow morning and will push through into the weekend according the National Weather Service. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency continues to actively monitor this storm and coordinate with state and local partners to ensure readiness.
“Residents need to prepare for this system now. These forecasted wind gusts are very serious,” said MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland. “Take the time now to go out and secure all loose objects outside that could blow away. Keep devices fully charged, before the wind starts blowing, in case the power goes. If at all possible, do not go out during the height of the storm.”
In addition to the high winds, accumulating snow is possible in western Maryland Thursday night into Friday. Other parts of western and central Maryland can expect some frozen precipitation to mix with the rain for part of the storm, but the wind is expected to present the greatest danger. Additionally, tidal flooding is possible along the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean on both Friday and Saturday. The National Weather Service is also predicting severe beach erosion for areas of the Eastern Shore and dangerous marine conditions.
Residents can take the following actions to prepare for high winds and related hazards:
– Check on relatives, neighbors, and friends if possible, especially those who might be seriously affected by a power outage.
– Avoid traveling early in the morning during the height of the storm. Let family and friends know of your destination, route, and expected arrival time.
– Know how to contact your electric supplier if the power goes out. For a list of power company contacts or to keep track of outages in Maryland, visit mema.maryland.gov. Put their phone number in your contact list and save it.
– Power outages can be monitored here: http://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/PowerOutagesData.aspx
– If you use a generator during a power outage, make sure to follow all safety recommendations and never run a generator inside a building or near windows and vents.
– Make sure not to leave pets outside during the storm.