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Baltimore Residents Not Taking Any Chances With Threat Of Flooding

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Baltimore City residents were scrambling Friday to protect their property and businesses from coastal flooding spawned by heavy rainfall and strong winds.

The city is among several waterfront communities throughout Maryland under a state of emergency declared by Gov. Larry Hogan in anticipation of the flood event, and residents weren't taking any chances.

People spent all day getting ready for the threat of potential flooding, stocking up on sandbags at a series of sites throughout the city and parking their vehicles in city garages.

Of particular concern in Baltimore were the Canton, Cherry Hill, Fell's Point and Harbor East neighborhoods, which are located in low-lying areas that are vulnerable to flooding.

Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott urged residents, especially those in flood-prone neighborhoods, to take the situation seriously.

"We are experiencing flooding along Baltimore's waterfront. Residents in low-lying areas should move their vehicles to higher ground," Scott said in part.

"Just got to prep up and make sure we're going to be safe," said Jordan Doster, one of many residents who could be found Friday stocking up on sandbags at a site in Fell's Point.

The city established that site, along with two more on Frederick Avenue and Spellman Road, so individuals and families could insulate their homes and business from floodwaters.

Another resident, Dolhus Hollaway, knows a thing or two about flooding. In 2003, he said, Hurricane Isabel flooded his family's basement with two feet of water.

"We're trying to prevent that from happening again," said Hollaway, who went out to pick up sandbags after hearing they were available at several sites throughout the city.

Residents were wise to be concerned. After all, the National Weather Service warned that the tidal flood event could be one of the worst the city has seen since Isabel.

All day long, water could be seen creeping into the streets and walkways in the Inner Harbor and parts of Fell's Point. Thames Street near South Wolfe was flooded by Friday evening.

The threat of potential flooding in those neighborhoods led some businesses to consider closing early.

Megan Day, manager of The Seasoned Olive, expected the gourmet grocery store to be among them. She said the safety of her employees is her chief priority.

"We're used to the flooding, we know what to do, so we just kind of set up and hunker down," Day told WJZ.

While Baltimore was spared significant flooding Friday, there's no telling what the weather might have in store for the city over the weekend.

The city has opened three garages until Sunday morning for residents who want to make sure their vehicles stay dry. You can find the list of garages here.

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