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Maryland State Highway Administration Preps for Statewide Storm

Find out why crews have chainsaws at the ready and which animals drivers should watch for on roads.

Flooding on Main Street in Ellicott City during Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 closed the road. (Credit: Brandie Jefferson)
Flooding on Main Street in Ellicott City during Tropical Storm Lee in 2011 closed the road. (Credit: Brandie Jefferson)

The State Highway Administration (SHA) is getting ready for the storms heading Maryland's way, and it is encouraging citizens to do the same.

“Maryland is in the path of several storms that have already wreaked havoc on other states, so we are keeping a close eye on the track of the storms,” SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters said.

SHA maintenance crews are at the ready with high water signage and are clearing drainage systems before the storm, which could drop up to five inches of rain before Thursday.

Related: Flash Flood Watch Issued for Maryland Areas

"This is going to be a statewide storm," SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar added.

SHA crews are getting chainsaws and chippers ready in the event of fallen tree limbs, Gischlar said. The SHA has tree professionals on standby as well, according to a news release.

How should you prepare? The SHA offers these tips:

  • Keep a charged cellphone handy (but don't use it while driving).
  • Turn around if you see standing water; don't drown.
  • Fill gas tank in case of lengthy detours.
  • Watch for animals, like deer, crossing roads as they flee flooded areas.
  • Treat intersections where signals are out as a four-way stop—it's the law.
  • Don't move branches tangled in electrical wires or cable from travel lanes.
  • Use headlights if windshield wipers are on—it's the law.
  • Allow extra braking distance.

Call 511 or visit www.md511.org  for current travel information.

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