To stay ahead of potential flooding concerns, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is deploying road crews to inspect, clean, and clear water ditches, drains, and inlets as the state braces for the potential impact of Hurricane Florence.
An already rainy week, concluding a historically wet summer, may give way to even heavier saturation as the currently Category 4 storm is expected to pummel the East Coast by week's end. The storm is predicted to slow as it makes landfall, dumping rain on the Mid Atlantic and Southeast in the process.
MDOT SHA crews are also inspecting emergency response equipment like road signs, chain saws, and loaders. Generators are being checked and topped off with fuel to ensure back up power supply where needed. Crews will be kept in continual response mode as the state waits for the storm.
Motorists are reminded to avoid flooded roadways as the water may be deeper than perceived, causing cars to become stuck or swept away . Drivers should also be wary of downed and damaged power lines, fallen trees or branches, and the potential for erratic behavior from local wildlife as they try to weather the storm as well.
“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.”