Joaquin might remain offshore
And less rain through Saturday than originally forecast
By E.B. Furgurson III
There's some good news mixed into the very wet forecast.
It won't be quite as soggy as predicted when Navy football takes the field against Air Force on Saturday. Rain once expected to deluge the area will stay south of Anne Arundel, according to the National Weather Service.
And the chances of Hurricane Joaquin having a major impact early next week were lessening with every new forecast from the National Hurricane Center.
About 11/2 inches of rain are expected through Saturday, forecasters said. That's a lot, but a steep reduction from the 41/2 inches predicted earlier in the week.
The heavier precipitation will stay south of the area, mostly in central Virginia, forecasters said.
That leaves Hurricane Joaquin.
Forecasts late Thursday reported major shifts in the storm track modeling. Several of the models that suggested the storm would wallop North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic shifted the storm offshore.
Getting it right is a tough job.
"A hurricane is like a cork in a stream," said meteorologist Andy Woodcock. "You might have a storm at 150 mph but you need steering winds to determine where it is going to go."
Still, preparing for the worst and hoping for the best seemed to be the order of business.
Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency, largely a proactive measure that allows him to move assets and equipment into position to react to the storm.
"Our state is taking every precaution, and I urge Marylanders to do the same," he said. "Start now to prepare your families."
In Anne Arundel County, the Bureau of Highways had emergency staffing at the ready if needed.
Flood-prone roads will be monitored through Monday, officials said. Storm drain patrols and vacuuming crews were out Thursday and will be working today. The Utility Bureau was prepping to ensure water and wastewater infrastructure will continue to operate.
Bay Bridge officials said weather likely would prevent any two- way traffic on the bridge for the next several days.
In Annapolis, the Office of Emergency Management was monitoring the storm closely, officials said.
Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. was also monitoring and preparing to field repair crews if needed. BGE put out a call for assistance from other utilities.
With less rain predicted today, the ground will be less saturated, reducing the likelihood of trees falling under any heavy winds that come this way.
Two dead as more rain threatens East Coast A3
List of area storm-related cancellations A10
Some of the storms that have impacted the county and state:
Hurricane Sandy (October 2012)
When the deadly storm blew through Anne Arundel, Annapolis had flooding that left part of the Alex Haley statue at City Dock submerged. Spa Creek spilled over the bulkhead, heavy winds gusted to 90 mph, more than 300,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers lost power and two Marylanders died. Two people had to be rescued by Anne Arundel firefighters when they climbed on top of their car to escape rising waters in Gambrills.
The Derecho (June 2012)
The derecho - an intense traveling windstorm - devastated many parts of Maryland and wiped out power for nearly 900,000 people, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Two people were killed during the storm, which also downed utility lines and trees and prompted President Barack Obama to declare it a major disaster and order federal aid.
Hurricane Irene (August 2011)
Irene brought winds sustained at 60 mph, with a top speed of 80 mph, and caused about 180 road closures throughout the state because of downed trees and flooding, mostly on the Eastern Shore. Over 100,000 people lost power in the county.
Hurricane Ernesto (September 2006)
The storm took its toll on power lines, leaving more than 100,000 BGE customers without power. Low-lying areas in the southern part of the state and sections of the Eastern Shore, where winds hit 62 mph, had tree damage and minor flooding. City Dock in Annapolis also flooded.
Tropical Storm Isabel (September 2003)
Isabel wreaked havoc on Maryland, causing several fatalities, including two traffic-related deaths, three carbon monoxide poisonings, one flood victim and two electric utility worker deaths. Over 2,000 people were displaced and housed in temporary shelters provided by the American Red Cross. Tides five to eight feet higher than normal along the Chesapeake inundated coastal communities with floodwater. The Bay Bridge was closed after sustained winds hit 50 mph, thousands of trees were downed, and many buildings, including the Naval Academy, filled with water.
Maryland was one of the most severely hit states, with Anne Arundel County taking the brunt of it: 196,000 county residents lost power, 150 roads were closed and over 570 homes were declared uninhabitable because of damage. The National Weather Service estimated over $400 million in damage statewide.
Anne Arundel County, MD, USA
lat: 38.9530109 ~lon: -76.54882320000001 ~administrative_area_level_2: Anne Arundel County ~administrative_area_level_1: MD ~country: US ~
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