ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan advised Marylanders, especially residents in low-lying areas, to remain alert and take the proper precautions as heavy rains and strong winds cause substantial flooding in coastal areas of the state.

The Maryland Department of Emergency Management has raised its activation level and is coordinating with local jurisdictions on responding to the storm, which could affect parts of the state through the weekend.

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“We are asking all Marylanders and visitors to our state to take this weather seriously and take precautions to remain safe, especially if you are in low-lying areas prone to flooding,” said Governor Hogan. “We will continue to closely monitor the storm, and coordinate our response across state and local agencies throughout the weekend. Stay tuned to local news stations for the latest updates, use common sense, and listen to any instructions local authorities will provide.”

About 20 reservists with the Maryland National Guard and 10 vehicles are staged at armories in Easton and Salisbury to assist local agencies if needed, the governor said.

“Our Soldiers are always ready to respond and are ready to assist if needed,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Timothy E. Gowen, the adjutant general of Maryland. “The Maryland National Guard is able to rapidly respond with the capabilities our state agency partners request because we train for this.”

The National Weather Service issued a coastal flood warning for counties along the Chesapeake Bay, Atlantic Ocean and other major bodies of water, such as Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Dorchester, Cecil, Harford, Kent, Prince George’s, St. Mary’s, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Wicomico, and Worcester counties, as well as Baltimore City.

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Rainfall of 1-3 inches is expected across the region, with some areas receiving as much as 3-4 inches, Hogan’s office said.

As of Friday afternoon, rising tides had caused flooding in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, downtown Annapolis and Hart Miller Island, among other areas.

The governor advised residents not to drive through flooded roadways and to heed all warnings about the severe weather. Residents should closely follow weather forecasts and the National Weather Service for warnings.

Marylanders should know who to call in the event of a power outage, he said, and keep devices charged so they can continue to monitor the weather.

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Emergency generators should only be used outdoors and kept about 20 feet away from the house, the governor’s office said.

CBS Baltimore Staff