ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan on Friday announced statewide preparedness efforts as the remnants of Hurricane Ian move up the mid-Atlantic, leading to coastal flood and gale warnings in the region. Earlier this week, the governor announced the deployment of an Incident Management Team to the State of Florida to assist with the response.
“In addition to sending personnel to Florida to help with the response to Hurricane Ian, we have been preparing on all fronts to deal with the remnants of the storm,” said Governor Hogan. “As we always emphasize with potential flooding events, it is critical for drivers to avoid rising waters—‘turn around, don’t drown.’ We advise Marylanders to watch the forecast closely throughout the weekend and heed local warnings.”
According to the National Weather Service, steady rain is possible late Friday through Monday, accompanied by strong wind gusts. Beginning this afternoon, a coastal flood watch is in effect for St. Mary’s County, and a gale watch is in effect for lower portions of the tidal Potomac and Chesapeake Bay.
Marylanders are encouraged to sign up for the free MdReady text alert program by texting ‘MdReady’ to 211MD1, and visit https://www.md511.org for travel updates.
Maryland Department of Emergency Management (MDEM)
- MDEM has activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) Partial Advance Team, and held Statewide Emergency Manager (SWEM) calls to address potential impacts.
- MDEM reached out to Maryland search and rescue teams to ensure readiness, and facilitated the deployment of an Incident Management Team to the State of Florida.
- MDEM has expanded outreach and messaging regarding Ian and storm preparations.
Maryland State Police (MSP)
- Troopers will be deployed throughout the state as efficiently as possible to address any areas where there is a greater need.
- MSP will monitor areas of flash flooding throughout the state and work with other state departments to set up detours if appropriate.
- MSP will monitor social media and share/publish messaging: i.e., if traveling, drivers should reduce their speed, increase following distance, and avoid walking or driving through areas where water appears to be flooding or crossing the roads.
Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT)
- The State Highway Administration (SHA) is clearing drainage ditches and stormwater management systems, especially inlets, to ensure positive drainage in the event of heavy rain.
- SHA districts have contacted tree contractors to make sure they are prepared for the storm. Regional maintenance shops are preparing high-water signs, ensuring that generators are operational, chainsaws are ready, and fuel resources are adequate.
- The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) is monitoring weather and wind conditions and prepared to implement appropriate warnings or restrictions on bridges. Drains and ditches have been inspected and cleared of debris.
- Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) crews are prepared to clear tracks and stations of debris, and will implement bus diversions should conditions warrant.
- BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport is monitoring conditions, securing loose materials, and preparing to alert travelers regarding any delays and cancellations.
Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE)
- MDE’s Water and Science Administration (WSA) will notify high and significant hazard dam owners and operators to monitor the weather and reduce pool levels if possible, check all emergency equipment (including backup power systems), review emergency action plans and update emergency contacts. WSA will also contact wastewater treatment plants and drinking water facilities to take precautions.
- MDE’s hazmat team is prepared to respond statewide to chemical or oil spills as necessary during the event.
- MDE’s Land and Materials Administration (LMA) advised landfill and other solid waste facility operators to take steps to prepare for the possible storm and associated precipitation by ensuring good coverage of waste, pumping down leachate storage facilities, and securing the site for possible high winds and heavy precipitation. LMA will also notify underground fuel storage tank owners and certified contractors to be prepared to protect excavations for tank removals and installations.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
- DNR has trailer-able boats and experienced operators, if needed. Its coastal resiliency and restoration teams have already been in contact with sister states to discuss shoreline rebuilding and reconstruction. A team of water quality experts is on hand to assist with monitoring and sampling post-storm.
- Natural Resources Police has equipment, officers, and supervisors available to assist affected states and communities. It can help with boat deployments, mission control support, search and recovery/rescue missions, and security.
Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS)
- DHS has sent out situational awareness messaging to state and local partners, confirmed all fleet vehicles assigned for emergencies are operational, and prepared additional shelter supplies for deployment if needed.
Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD)
- MDOD is pre-positioning assistive technology kits in case evacuation shelters are opened, raising awareness and preparedness in the disability community through social media channels, and preparing to stand up its constituent services hotline to receive requests and provide referrals for Marylanders with disabilities who are affected by the storm.
Additional information can be found in the graphics below.
[Photos via the National Weather Service]