DRIVERS URGED TO USE CAUTION AS MARYLAND PREPARES FOR SEVERE WEATHER FROM TROPICAL STORM ISAIAS ON TUESDAY

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(MDOT SHA photo: MDOT SHA Logo)

​(August 3, 2020) – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is proactively working to prepare for severe weather as Tropical Storm Isaias makes landfall. The National Weather Service is forecasting Isaias to become a hurricane and drop as much as six inches of rain in parts of the Baltimore-Washington region on Tuesday. 

MDOT SHA crews are clearing ditches, pipes and inlets to ensure proper drainage, as highways could be affected by the heavy rain and potential wind gusts up to 70 miles per hour. Drivers are urged to look out for fallen trees/limbs and be prepared for scattered power outages. 

Crews at MDOT SHA maintenance facilities are also evaluating all emergency response equipment such as high-water signs, chainsaws, chippers, loaders and trucks.  Additionally, crews are ensuring that we have adequate materials and supplies to keep the roadways as safe and passable as possible during and after the severe weather event.

Our Coordinated Highways Accident Response Team, C.H.A.R.T Emergency Patrols will be out during the storm assisting with incidents and motorists as safely as possible. They will also have other units patrolling the metropolitan areas to Maryland’s Eastern Shore.     

Our workers will continue to follow COVID-19 guidelines, including wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing, while delivering these services. 

MDOT SHA urges motorists to take the following precautions:

  • Don’t drive through standing water.  It only takes six inches of moving water to sweep a person off his/her feet, and 12 inches of moving water to move the average sedan. Remember “Turn Around, Don’t Drown”;
  • Keep a close eye on local information sources for the latest weather conditions and plan accordingly;
  • Delay trips during severe weather;
  • Use low-beam headlights when windshield wipers are activated;
  • Don’t try to move fallen tree branches as high-voltage wires may be intertwined; and
  • If power is out at a traffic signal, State law requires ALL drivers at the intersection to treat it as a four-way stop.

Motorists are urged to monitor the forecast as threat levels can change throughout the day and visit md511.maryland.gov for real-time travel alerts and conditions.

Editor’s Note

MDOT SHA has a record number of highway construction projects underway across the state to reduce congestion and improve safety.  From intersection improvements to widening and new interchange construction, MDOT SHA is investing in projects to enhance the commute and daily travel for millions of Marylanders.  MDOT SHA maintains more than 2,500 bridges and 17,000 miles of non-toll state roads – the interstate, US and state numbered routes in Maryland’s 23 counties.

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