Hurricane Florence is forecast to batter the Carolina coasts Friday and Saturday and dump feet of rain, while Maryland looks to be spared of the catastrophic flooding that appeared possible in recent days.
As inevitable as a Hurricane Florence landfall in the Carolinas appears, the storm's meandering path beyond that — and the foot or two of rain it could dump — remained uncertain as preparations and evacuations continued Tuesday.
Steady rain in the last couple of weeks has turned ground throughout the Baltimore region into a sloppy, wet mess. More bad weather — particularly with high winds from the potential Hurricane Florence — could topple trees and ruin crops.
After a near-record rainy summer flooded out events and washed out dams, a wet September, darkened by the potential cloud shadows of hurricane Florence, may muddy the outlook for high profile festivals.
Tropical cyclone Florence has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but is expected to strengthen again before possibly brushing or striking the East Coast. The threat of "direct impacts associated with Florence along the U.S. East Coast next week has increased," the National Weather Service says.
“It is far too soon to speculate what, if any, impacts Florence may have on our region next week, but at this point nothing can be ruled out,” meteorologists at the National Weather Service’s Baltimore/Washington forecast office wrote Thursday.
The first week of school for Baltimore-area students is expected to see temperatures over 90 degrees in each of the first three days, and that could mean shortened days for students whose classrooms lack air conditioning.
It has been a busy month for meteorologists who oversee the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., regions — the National Weather Service has issued more than 5 flood warnings a day, on average, far more than anywhere else in the country.
Another stretch of soggy weather is forecast to arrive in the Baltimore region this weekend. The National Weather Service predicts unsettled conditions from Friday night into Monday. Heavier showers and storms could cause some flooding over the weekend.
More rain is expected for Carroll County, with numerous scattered rain showers forecast for Wednesday evening and this weekend heading into next week. And although a heat index between 95 and 100 with high humidity will precede the rain Wednesday evening — which is expected between 3 and 10 p.m.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office said workers continue to drain water from Cascade Lake in Hampstead.The lake reached its maximum capacity of water and a recent inspection of the dam revealed damage. Workers are reducing the water level to a point where they can perform a controlled breach.
Many Carroll County roads remained closed Thursday after potentially historic levels of rain soaked the area, flooding roads, downing trees and wires, creating sinkholes and transforming streams to fast flowing rapids. Over the past three days four to seven inches of rain fell on Carroll.
Relief from one of the Baltimore region’s wettest stretches on record arrived Thursday, but flood warnings nonetheless remained in effect through 1 p.m. after another round of soaking rain fell Wednesday night.
Ride the Ducks, which runs amphibious boat attractions, operated in Baltimore until 2009, when it shut down shortly after its workers sought to unionize. A Ride the Ducks boat in Missouri sank on Thursday evening, killing 17.