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County Executive Leopold Urges Caution with Tornado Watch in Effect

Simple safety tips include avoiding standing water

Annapolis, MD (September 30, 2010) - County Executive John R. Leopold today urged residents to observe storm safety tips as the National Weather Service Tornado warning has expired but watches for flash flooding and tornados remain in effect.

"Flooding makes for dangerous road conditions and property damage, so we ask that citizens protect their homes and use caution on the roadways," County Executive Leopold said. "Standing water can be very dangerous, so turn around instead of driving into standing water. As little as six inches of water can make you lose control of your vehicle."

At 9:26 a.m., the National Weather Service radar indicated a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado 12 miles south of Sillery Bay, or near South River, moving north at 25 mph. Locations impacted include Gibson Island, Sillery Bay, Pinehurst, Bodkin Point, and Fort Smallwood Park. County Executive Leopold has activated the Emergency Operations Center.

The Department of Public Works is advising six road closures: Furnace Ave between River Rd and the I-195 overpass, Hammonds Ferry Rd between Nursery Rd and the Baltimore County line, Sands Rd between MD 408 and Ed Prout Rd, Furnace Branch Rd closed between Ritchie St and Cedar Ave, Lake Dr from Bodkin View Dr to Summit Rd (Bayside Beach) and Southwest Rd from Summit Rd to end (Bayside Beach).

Stay tuned to the radio for updates. If a tornado warning is issued, move to an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building and avoid windows. If outdoors or in a mobile home or vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.

Residents should keep the following safety tips in mind:

  • Assemble a disaster supply kit to include at a minimum the following items: 1 gallon of water per person to last at least three days, non-perishable food supply for at least three days, battery or crank powered weather radio and extra batteries, flashlight, first aid kit, and required prescription medication. Disaster supplies should also include special items for infants, elderly or disabled family members and pets
  • "Turn around, don't drown." It only takes 18 inches of water to lift your car or SUV. Once your vehicle becomes buoyant; the water will easily push it sideways. Most vehicles will then tend to roll over, trapping those inside and washing them downstream
  • Secure your home. Bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor.
  • Listen to the radio or television for information.
  • Be aware that flash flooding can occur. If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground. Do not wait for instructions to move.


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