A slow-moving storm churning up the East Coast today was expected to bring high tides and some beach erosion to Ocean City tonight and tomorrow.
The National Weather Service posted heavy surf warnings in Ocean City and predicted tides 2 to 3 feet above normal tonight and tomorrow before the storm either moves up the coast or out to sea.
Heavy rains and high winds also are expected for the Baltimore area, said forecaster Ken Shaver at the National Weather Service at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
Shaver said winds will increase in the metropolitan area up to 25 knots this evening but if any damage occurs, it will be along the low-lying tidal areas around the Chesapeake Bay and in Ocean City.
The storm threatening the resort today is the third powerful low-pressure system to hit the narrow 10-mile-long island since Oct. 31, although Shaver did not expect the current storm to have the impact of the others.
As in the previous two storms, today's system is bringing winds from the east and northeast.
On Oct. 31, towering waves and high winds, accelerated by hurricane conditions off the coast, combined to flood most of the bay side streets and erode sections of the beach from 33rd Street to streets in the middle 80s. Officials called it the worst storm to hit the Eastern Shore town since 1962.
Although large chunks of the beach were washed offshore, the replenished dune lines prevented the high water from causing any damage to people or property.
The storm also caused flooding in sections of Fells Point in Baltimore and at the City Dock in Annapolis. Some scattered streets in Baltimore were also under water.
About two weeks later, another storm buffeted the beach and town. Again, the high tides caused flooding on most streets adjacent to the swollen Assawoman Bay but no property damage.
Shaver said today's storm is not powerful as the one that hit Halloween night.
"But we are anticipating sustained winds between 35 and 50 knots down there and that will bring the water up the beach," he
The range of gale-force winds is between 34 and 47 knots, he said.
He said the greatest threat in Ocean City is tonight and tomorrow morning. The high tide this evening will be at 6:19 and shortly before 7 a.m. tomorrow.
A spokesman at the Ocean City Coast Guard station said storm warnings were posted in local marinas.
State and local officials have yet to reveal damage figures from the previous storms.