A tropical storm watch has been notched up to a warning for Southern Maryland and the lower Eastern Shore, including Ocean City, as Hurricane Dorian moves along the coast of the United States.
The National Weather Service said tropical storm-force winds of up to 73 mph are possible in St. Mary’s, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester counties today. Coastal flooding and significant erosion are also possible.
Ocean City officials said they are preparing for sustained winds of up to 35 mph and prolonged rainfall. Crews were closing the resort town’s seawall and clearing beaches. They urged residents to secure boats and other vessels as well as outdoor furniture and grills.
The Maryland State Highway Administration urged residents not to drive through flooded roads and said it was working to clear storm drains of debris.
Overview of impacts from Hurricane Dorian on our forecast area. Strong winds are expected to be confined to far southern Maryland & adjacent waters Friday (peak wind gusts displayed). The peak threat for tidal flooding will likely occur Saturday, *after* the storm passes. pic.twitter.com/7nNn9pW9XY
Virginia portions of the Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva peninsula are also under a tropical storm warning.
Gov. Larry Hogan warned Maryland residents to take the hurricane seriously and utilize resources like the Maryland Emergency Management Agency or State Emergency Operations Center.
"I urge Marylanders to stay tuned to your local news stations for updates, heed warnings from state and local authorities, and most importantly, use common sense,” Hogan said in a press release Thursday.
The storm is forecast to remain far enough south for little if any impact to be felt in Central Maryland, but for some clouds and possible showers from Dorian’s outer bands. The chance of rain in Baltimore is 28% and winds could reach 25 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Dorian will track NE from near the Outer Banks of NC this AM to offshore by this evening. A few rain bands will affect part of our region today, mainly southern MD. Breezy conditions will develop, w/ strongest winds in southern MD where a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect. pic.twitter.com/C3ffY1XQ7E
Dorian was a Category 3 storm moving up the coast of the Carolinas as of midday Thursday, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was bringing flooding, heavy rain and gusty winds to coastal communities despite remaining slightly off shore. It has since been downgraded to a Category 1 storm.
Hogan authorized the use of the Maryland Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team to North Carolina on Thursday to help with any potential rescues.
When Dorian slammed into the Bahamas, it left at least 20 people dead.