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Ocean City officials begin preparations for Hurricane Joaquin

Ocean City officials are preparing for Hurricane Joaquin, which is expected to impact the beach town beginning Friday, officials said.

Several events planned for this weekend have been canceled and town officials are beginning preparations, and urging residents to prepare for high winds, heavy rain, and likely flooding, even before the storm fully arrives.

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Joaquin became the strongest Atlantic hurricane of the year Thursday, a Category 4 storm over the Bahamas, but fears have waned that it could become the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. in a decade. Though the latest forecasts keep it a few hundred miles from the mid-Atlantic coast by Sunday and Monday, officials are urging preparation.

Ocean City officials warn that even areas that haven't flooded before could still be at risk because flooding is dependent on a variety of factors, such as rail fall, river flow, tidal surge, topography, flood prevention measures, and changes from building and development.

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Check this map to see if an Ocean City property is in a low lying area.

Many outdoor events for the weekend have been canceled or postponed including Wine on the Beach and the OPA National Championship Power Boat Races, city officials said.

Ocean City officials said residents should build an emergency kit, which include items like a flashlight, first aid supplies, and prescriptions, and make a family communications plan.

Residents of the beach town are also encouraged to checking the following:

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• City Wide Emergency Alerts: Citizens can sign up for emergency alerts by visiting: oceancitymd.gov/enews and subscribing to "City Wide Emergency Alerts."

Town of Ocean City Twitter: @townofoceancity

Town of Ocean City website: oceancitymd.gov

FM Advisory Radio Station – 99.5

Town of Ocean City Access Channels 4 & 15

Emergency Management Hotline: 410-723-6666

twitter.com/janders5

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