BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Gov. Larry Hogan on Friday declared a state of emergency for parts of Maryland threatened by severe coastal flooding.
The declaration came hours after the governor announced the Department of Emergency Management had raised its activation level to better coordinate with local governments during the storm, which is forecast to bring flooding to coastal communities this weekend. The National Guard has also deployed resources to its Easton and Salisbury armories in case their help is needed.
Areas covered by the state of emergency include Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne's, Prince George's, Somerset, St. Mary's, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester counties, as well as Baltimore City.
In a statement, Hogan urged Maryland residents to take the threat of flooding seriously even if they have dealt with it in the past.
"This is much more serious and has the potential to be much more damaging over the course of the next 24 hours," the governor said. "We are taking this action to bring all necessary state resources to bear, and assist local jurisdictions in their response efforts. We urge Marylanders to remain vigilant, to stay tuned to local news stations for the latest updates, and to follow any instructions local officials may provide."
A combination of rainfall and strong winds are forecast to cause tidal flooding in low-lying areas along the Chesapeake Bay, Potomac River and other bodies of water. In a stark warning, the National Weather Service predicted it could be the worst tidal flooding since Hurricane Isabel.
The weather's impacts have been widely felt throughout the region since early Friday. Annapolis, Baltimore City and Millers Island are among the areas that have seen rising floodwaters and winds have toppled trees in Baltimore County.
Out of an abundance of caution, several public school districts closed schools on Friday and even some businesses decided to close their doors early.
The governor's office is reminding residents to avoid driving through standing water, pay attention to severe weather warnings, keep their digital devices charged in case the power goes out and prepare necessities for an evacuation if necessary.
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