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County Executive Janet S. Owens Partially Activates Emergency Operations Center

High Winds and Heavy Rains Expected through Midnight

Annapolis (September 1, 2006 - County Executive Janet S. Owens has partially activated the Emergency Operations Center as of 3:00 p.m. today in preparation for high winds and heavy rains that are expected to pass through the County as a result of Tropical Depression Ernesto.

“The Emergency Operations Center will be staffed to assist residents during the height of this storm which is expected to bring high winds and flooding conditions,” said County Executive Janet S. Owens.  “My concern is the power outages that could occur as a result of power lines brought down by trees and of course, flooding conditions in areas that are prone to tidal surges.  Take this opportunity now to be safe and check home emergency kits which should include, at a minimum, a battery-powered radio, fresh batteries, a flashlight and a gallon of water per person in the household for at least 3 days.”

Forecasts for the area call for sustained winds of 25 – 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.  A coastal and inland flooding watch is in place at this time.  Coastal tides are currently 1 foot above normal due to lunar conditions and the wind is expected to push an additional 2 -2.5 feet of water onto the Western shore of the Chesapeake Bay.  Inland streams are equally susceptible to flooding conditions during this storm.  While the heaviest rain is expected through midnight, effects of this Tropical Depression will be felt in this area through Sunday.  In all, 4 – 8 inches of rain is expected before Ernesto moves north later in the weekend.

In addition to the Emergency Operations Center, crews from the Department of Public Works, Bureau of Highways will respond to emergency conditions on County roads through midnight.  Crews will work to open roads that have been blocked due to downed trees and close roads that are temporariliy flooded and deemed unsafe for travel. The Department will continue to staff the operation as needed throughout the weekend.  

The Fire Department reminds the public to Turn Around, Don’t Drown.  Pedestrians and motorists alike should never attempt to travel through a flooded road.  

For assistance with downed-trees and flooded road conditions on County roads, the public may call the Department of Public Works at (410) 222-6120.  For assistance with non-life threatening conditions as the storm passes through, the public may call the Emergency Operations Center at (410) 222-8040.  Other emergencies should be reported by calling 9-1-1.


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