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Maryland agencies offer safety tips, prepare for rain & high winds as Ian approaches

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CBS News Baltimore Live

BALTIMORE -- Several Maryland agencies are on high alert as the remnants of Hurricane Ian move up the coast.

Clouds announcing the storm arrived early Friday, but rain is expected to begin in the evening and last through the weekend before tapering.   

Most of Central Maryland could see 2-4" of rain with Southern Maryland potentially getting even more. A coastal flood watch is in effect for St. Mary's County, and a gale watch is in effect for lower portions of the tidal Potomac and Chesapeake Bay. 

Gov. Larry Hogan's office shared safety warnings Friday and detailed how certain agencies have prepared for the weather. 

"In addition to sending personnel to Florida to help with the response to Hurricane Ian, we have been preparing on all fronts to deal with the remnants of the storm," Hogan said in a statement. "As we always emphasize with potential flooding events, it is critical for drivers to avoid rising waters—'turn around, don't drown.' We advise Marylanders to watch the forecast closely throughout the weekend and heed local warnings."  

Most flood-related deaths occur in vehicles, according to the Maryland State Highway Administration. The agency urged drivers to take precautions such as:

  • Avoid downed or damaged power and transmission lines, as these could still be live;
  • Be cognizant of fallen trees or limbs; and
  • Remain alert for animals, such as deer, that may flee dangerous areas and cross roadways

The governor's office said the Maryland Department of Emergency Management has reached out to the state's search and rescue teams to ensure readiness and expanded outreach to ensure awareness of the weather conditions. 

Maryland State Police troopers have been deployed "as efficiently as possible to address any areas where there is a greater need," officials said, and the department will work with other agencies to set up detours on the roads if necessary. 

The Maryland Department of the Environment's hazmat team is "prepared to respond statewide to chemical or oil spills" as needed. Officials said the agency has also reached out to landfill operators, underground fuel storage owners, and some dam owners to ensure they are taking the necessary precautions. 

The Maryland Department of Transportation is clearing drain ditches and inlets in anticipation of heavy rain, and it is prepared to clear any debris, officials said. 

Other agencies involved in the response include the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Human Services, and the Department of Disabilities. 

Marylanders are encouraged to sign up for the free MdReady text alert program by texting 'MdReady' to 211MD1 and visit for travel updates.

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