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With an impending hurricane making its way toward the East Coast, Montgomery County and state officials prepare for storm that could cause damage here.
While the latest weather trajectories have Hurricane Florence making landfall in North Carolina on Friday, the storm’s impact is likely to be felt in Montgomery County, emergency officials said.
Depending on whether the National Weather Service’s trajectories hold true, Montgomery County could experience some light rain, or severe rain which could lead to devastating floods. Either way, State and County officials said they are preparing for the worst case scenario.
In response to the pending storm, Gov. Larry Hogan has declared a state of emergency, as the state prepares for the storm, which is projected to be a category 3 or category 4 hurricane when it reaches land.
“At this time, there is still some uncertainty about the track of this storm and its potential impact, but we are preparing for any possible outcome, including the potential of historic, catastrophic, and life-threatening flooding in Maryland,” Hogan said.
Earl Stoddard, director of Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said while the storm could have a minimal impact on the County, he suggested that residents start preparing now by gathering items they may need in case of an emergency like nonperishable food, a first aid kit, a flashlight, batteries and water.
“This is not the time to panic. It’s not even likely to damage the County, but we have to prepare if it were,” Stoddard said.
For County Emergency officials the biggest potential threat for the storm is the rain. While the County is likely to not be in the direct path of the storms, major rain fall could hit the County causing severe flooding in low-lying areas. The flooding could be compounded by the days of rain the area has already experience in days prior to the storm, Stoddard said.
For those planning to drive this weekend, Stoddard has some advice for you if you see standing water on the road don’t try to drive through. Just six inches of standing water could stop your car.
“Turn around, don’t drown,” Stoddard said.