As the Eastern seaboard anticipates significant impacts from Tropical Storm Isaias, Governor Larry Hogan announced that the State of Maryland has activated a government-wide response to prepare for severe conditions. A tropical storm warning is now in effect for most jurisdictions, in addition to several severe weather watches and warnings in effect statewide.
“Our state is taking every precaution to prepare for the effects of Tropical Storm Isaias—which could include heavy rain, damaging winds, and flash flooding—and I urge all Marylanders to do the same,” said Governor Hogan. “Stay tuned to your local news stations for the latest updates, listen to state and local authorities, and most importantly, plan and prepare.”
The storm is expected to make landfall tonight in the Carolinas as a hurricane. Marylanders can expect to feel effects from Isaias beginning tonight, but the greatest impacts are expected Tuesday. Heavy rain is expected in central and eastern Maryland, with as much as 5-7 inches of rainfall forecasted, and flash floods and tidal flooding are likely. Heavy winds could topple trees and cause power outages. A westward shift in the storm track could also create a greater impact in western Maryland.
Marylanders are advised to take the following steps in preparation for severe weather:
- Pay close attention to emergency information and alerts from official sources. Marylanders can subscribe to alerts from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) by texting “MdReady” to 898211.
- Keep devices charged in case of possible power outages.
- Use the ‘Know Your Zone’ interactive tool to see if the places you live, work, or visit are in one of Maryland’s three evacuation zones.
- Make sure emergency kits include at least two face coverings for each person, hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and other COVID-19 related supplies in addition to the usual disaster supply kit components.
- Exercise extreme caution if you must travel—remember, if you encounter standing water over a roadway, turn around, don’t drown.
Statewide preparations include the following:
Maryland Emergency Management Agency
- The State Activation Level (SAL) is “Enhanced” and will be escalated this evening to increase coordination between state agencies.
- MEMA continues to coordinate daily calls between the National Weather Service, state agencies, and local emergency managers and stands ready to assist local agencies and coordinate state resources as needed.
Maryland Department of Transportation
- The State Highway Administration is deploying maintenance forces throughout the state to begin storm preparation measures. Crews are evaluating all emergency response equipment, and emergency patrols will be active during the storm event to assist with incidents and motorists.
- Motorists are advised to prepare for wind warnings, restrictions, and the potential for temporary traffic holds at Maryland Transportation Authority bridges.
- The Maryland Transit Administration is advising travelers to prepare for the potential for transit service delays or rerouting due to inclement weather.
- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport employees are conducting inspections of the airfield, securing equipment, and checking and refueling emergency generators.
- Coast Guard Sector Maryland has set Port Condition X-RAY for vessels and ports. Ports America Chesapeake is closing Seagirt Marine Terminal and its operations at Dundalk Marine Terminal tomorrow. Other operations at Dundalk Marine Terminal and at the other state-owned, public marine terminals are continuing to operate under normal conditions at this time.
Maryland Department of Health
- COVID-19 testing operations will be suspended Tuesday, August 4, including the high-volume testing event planned at Ripken Stadium. Marylanders should monitor covidtest.maryland.gov for updates.
Maryland Institute of Emergency Medical Services System
- The department’s Operations Center is staffed and continues to monitor the status of hospital capacity and physical plant status.
Maryland Department of Human Services
- The Maryland Department of Human Services has provided additional supplies and staff to the Eastern Shore in preparation for any human services needs related to Tropical Storm Isaias.
- The department is partnering with the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross, 2-1-1 Maryland, and the Department of Disabilities to put a statewide system in place to assist with feeding people who have evacuated to hotels and do not have sufficient food.
- In preparation for hurricane season, the department has been distributing information regarding how to operate safe disaster sheltering in a COVID-19 environment.
Maryland State Police
- The Mobile Field Force has been placed on standby to respond, if needed, throughout the state, and MSP commanders have scheduled personnel to staff local emergency operations centers.
- The State Police Underwater Recovery Team is ready to respond if their expertise and equipment are needed.
- All patrol troopers have been advised to prepare for extended duty during the storm if required.
Maryland Department of the Environment
- The Maryland Department of the Environment has engaged with high and significant hazard dam owners and operators, wastewater treatment plants, and drinking water facilities regarding their need to prepare for severe weather.
- The department has authorized the continuous operation of solid waste facilities through the close of business Thursday to manage possible storm debris, and is taking steps to secure its statewide air monitoring network to protect valuable equipment.
Maryland Energy Administration/Maryland Public Service Commission
- The agencies are coordinating with Maryland utility providers on their storm preparedness and public safety efforts.
Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services
- Emergency preparedness personnel have prepared facilities for severe weather, with generators fueled and adequate supplies on hand.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- Maryland State Parks are preparing to close and/or evacuate several day-use areas and campgrounds that are likely to be affected by the storm and related flooding. Closures will be announced via social media.
- Maryland Department of Natural Resources personnel have removed small to medium sized department vessels and sensitive monitoring equipment to safety, and also moved equipment and materials from ongoing waterfront projects to minimize damage and debris.
Maryland Department of General Services
- The department continues to ensure the storm water management systems for State buildings are clear of debris and in working order.
- The Office of State Procurement has also been in contact with emergency vendors in the event of debris removal and other emergency services.
Maryland Department of Agriculture
- The Maryland Department of Agriculture’s animal health program is preparing supplies needed for pet sheltering. Staff is moving into position on the Eastern Shore and Baltimore area in the event that shelters are activated.