ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Tropical storm Isaias is moving on past Maryland, but left behind damage and could winds and flooding could remain an issue.
Maryland Emergency Management Agency Deputy Executive Director Chas is asking all to be vigilant as he expects those high winds and potential tornadic activity to happen throughout the state.
“High winds, even some potential tornadic activity on the lower eastern shore moving up north and possibly northwest into the state. There have been some damages, mainly focused on the lower eastern shore right now,” said Eby in an interview with WJZ. “But, we expect that to continue throughout the state. We are asking people to be vigilant.”
Hazards from Hurricane Isaias are affecting Maryland now. Right now, portions of the Eastern Shore and Southern Md. are under TORNADO watches or warnings, along with flash flood warnings.
— Chas Eby (@chas_eby) August 4, 2020
Eby said that the local emergency crews are currently investigating the reports that they are receiving of damage in the state. Eby says that they had a call with local officials to offer assistance and anything that they may need. But, the main focus for MEMA at the moment is the potential for other threats throughout the day.
“Local emergency managers and officials are now investigating all of these reports we’re seeing. We just had a call with local officials to see if they needed state support for potential sheltering operations or anything else they might need,” said Eby. “Right now is assessment for the tornadic activity and looking forward to the other threats which we expect to see throughout the day.”
Flash flood watches and warnings have been issued throughout the state and that has been another main area of focus for Eby and MEMA.
“We’re still very focused and preparing for the potential for heavy rain throughout the morning and into the early afternoon today. We do anticipate potential flash flooding so we’re under a flash flood watch in many areas and warnings in others and we should expect that to expand,” said Eby. “We have been coordinating resources and making sure that local officials have what they need for that.”
With the storm expected to continue throughout much of the day Tuesday, the recommendation from Eby is to stay indoors and make sure that all communication devices are charged so that citizens will be able to receive emergency alerts. Eby also warns of the danger of trying to drive through any level of standing water.
Be ready for possible power outages due to #Isaias:
📲 Keep your cell phone and laptop charged ahead of the storm.
🔦 Gather flashlights and batteries.
🔌 Switch off electronics to avoid damage from surges.
— Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MDMEMA) (@MDMEMA) August 4, 2020
“Driving through standing water, even just an inch or two can be extremely dangerous. If it’s moving water, it can be even more dangerous,” said Eby. “Right now it’s a good idea to stay indoors. Make sure you have your phone or communication devices charged because that’s how you can get emergency alerts.”
The storm does bring the possibility of loss of power for residents and Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski is urging residents to remain calm if they do experience a power outage. Olszewski says that BGE has prepared additional support in order to be able to respond to reports of outages quickly.
“BGE has already called in additional support so that they can respond as quickly as possible. We certainly want to make sure our residents are safe,” said Olszewski. “There’s a prioritization for safety in terms of restoration but, we try to work very closely to make sure our residents are restored as quickly as possible and safe in the meantime.”
For residents living in Annapolis, the hotline to call to report any damage is 410-260-2211 and residents can also report damage through the Prepare Me Annapolis App. In Harford County, executives say residents should call the hotline at 410-638-5800 to report any damages.