Crews Prepare for Emergency Response; Drivers Urged to Monitor Conditions and Travel with Caution
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is closely monitoring a large area of low-pressure poised to strike the State Saturday through the end of the weekend with heavy rainfall. Crews are assembling high water signs and ensuring that chipper, chainsaw and generators are fully operational. Gusty winds are forecast to accompany the rainfall and remain in place through Monday.
The ground is saturated, so it will not take much precipitation to cause localized flooding and standing water. Additionally, the water-logged soil and recent snow could pose a tree fall hazard throughout many areas. The combination of increased rain and wind could cause trees and large tree limbs to fall, which pose a hazard to motorists and can create power outages affecting traffic signals. MDOT SHA reminds motorists that if you encounter an intersection where traffic signals are without power, treat all directions of the intersection as a four-way stop.
Motorists are reminded to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown.” Most flood-related deaths occur in vehicles. Two feet of rapidly moving water can float a bus and six inches can knock a person off their feet. Other advice includes:
- Avoid downed or damaged power and transmission lines as these could still be live;
- Be cognizant of fallen trees or tree limbs; and
- Remain alert for wild animals, such as deer, that may flee dangerous areas and cross roadways.
MDOT SHA also advises motorists to stay aware of the forecast and, should heavy rain and high wind begin to affect the area, curtail travel as much as possible. Click here for information about flooded roads.
Drivers are encouraged to get the latest information by logging onto md511.maryland.gov. The site provides real-time information about road closures and provides access to live traffic cameras. It is also recommended that citizens follow MDOT SHA on Facebook and Twitter @MDSHA.