ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Wes Moore on Tuesday morning signed the State’s first State of Preparedness declaration (PDF) ahead of a potentially hazardous winter weather system that is expected to bring damaging winds, heavy rain, and potential flooding to areas of Maryland.
According to the National Weather Service, the significant weather system is expected to impact the region Tuesday afternoon and evening, bringing multiple threats that require heightened awareness and preparedness from Marylanders and those visiting our State.
READ MORE: State Activation Level raised to ‘ENHANCED’
“By declaring a State of Preparedness in Maryland, I am directing the Department of Emergency Management to coordinate the comprehensive preparation of State government ahead of potential impacts related to the incoming weather system,” said Governor Moore. “The safety and security of our residents is our top priority. Please remain vigilant, use common sense, and have a plan in place especially if you are in low-lying areas prone to flooding or where flooding is expected.”
In November, Governor Moore signed an executive order establishing a State of Preparedness, which enhanced the state’s ability to respond swiftly and effectively to potential hazards and threats in advance of an actual disaster. The order directs the Department of Emergency Management to coordinate the comprehensive preparation of state government ahead of potential impacts from hazards or threats, providing a vital layer of protection for Marylanders without necessitating a State of Emergency.
According to the National Weather Service, Marylanders can expect the following during this weather event:
- Timing: Tuesday through Tuesday night
- Details: Rainfall amounts ranging from 1 to 3 inches are likely, with localized areas experiencing up to 4 inches. The heaviest rain is anticipated along and east of the Catoctin Mountains, including the I-95 corridor.
- Advisory: Residents are urged to remain vigilant, have a plan in place, and avoid driving or walking over flooded roads or around barriers.
- Timing: Tuesday through Wednesday morning
- Details: Gale-force winds are expected, with the possibility of storm force winds over bodies of water.
- Winds will continue to increase through the afternoon, peaking late this afternoon and evening. Instances of wind damage are anticipated over land.
- Advisory: Residents are advised to secure loose items and take precautions against potential wind-related hazards.
Coastal Flood Threat:
- Timing: Tuesday through Wednesday
- Details: Moderate to major tidal flooding is expected along the Chesapeake Bay and tidal Potomac River. Significant water levels may approach those observed on October 30, 2021.
- Advisory: Coastal residents should take necessary precautions, and those in flood-prone areas are urged to be prepared for rising water levels.
Snow and Ice Threat:
- Timing: Until Tuesday afternoon
- Details: Accumulating snow and ice will impact western Allegany and Garrett County on Tuesday morning and midday.
- Advisory: Residents in affected areas should exercise caution and monitor updates for potential travel disruptions.
“We have been in close coordination with the National Weather Service, State partner agencies and departments, and local jurisdictions in preparation for the incoming weather system,” said Maryland Department of Emergency Management Secretary Russ Strickland. “Stay tuned to local news stations for the latest updates, and heed any instructions local authorities will provide.”
- Main stem river flooding is expected late Tuesday and Wednesday, with the possibility of continuing through the end of the week.
- Another low-pressure system is forecasted to impact the area on Friday into early Saturday, bringing soaking rain and the potential for isolated instances of wind damage.
- Never drive or walk over flooded roads. Turn around, don’t drown!
- Stay informed by regularly checking weather updates from official sources and be sure to have a way to access local forecasts and warnings.
- Have an emergency kit ready and a family emergency plan in place.
- Heed all warnings and stay indoors during severe weather.
- Check with local authorities for the latest information about public evacuation shelters.
- Keep devices charged in case of power outages.
- Know who to contact in the case of a power outage. Emergency phone numbers for utility companies can be found here.
- Only use generators outdoors and never in a garage. The generator should be at least 20 feet away from the home and away from windows, doors, and vents.
Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources recently launched the new MyCoast Maryland app that enables people to easily upload photos of flood conditions in their neighborhood during or after major rain events and tidal flooding.
The flood photos that residents share on the app help scientists at DNR and other government agencies in Maryland understand the extent of flooding in certain areas, compare pre-storm or pre-high tide flooding estimates with actual effects, and plan long-term mitigation projects to reduce flooding.
While individuals must register to use the app, photos uploaded to the app that can be viewed publicly do not include people’s names. The app can even store photos and information offline if cell service is interrupted during a strong storm, or if service is poor, and then be uploaded onto the app when service is strong or the user is connected to Wi-Fi.
The MyCoast photos also help government officials in Maryland see what the real-world effects are after the National Weather Service forecasts storms in mild, moderate, or severe categories. Due to climate change, many moderate or even mild storms can cause severe flooding, especially in coastal areas during high tides. Even localized rain storms that affect small areas can have outsize flooding impacts that may be harder to predict due to a changing climate.
For the latest information, visit https://www.weather.gov/lwx. To receive alerts, tips, and resources related to threats and hazards affecting or that may affect Maryland, text MdReady to 211-631 or text MdListo for Spanish.
For more information, residents may visit the Maryland Department of Emergency Management’s website.
Marylanders may also monitor power outages through the MdReady mobile app at https://MdReady.maryland.gov.
READ MORE: State Activation Level raised to ‘ENHANCED’