DRIVERS URGED TO USE CAUTION AS MARYLAND PREPARES FOR SEVERE WEATHER FROM IDA REMNANTS TOMORROW

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MDOT SHA Logo)

​Parts of Maryland Could See Heavy Rain, Flooding

(August 31, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) is proactively working to prepare for severe weather as remnants from Tropical Storm Ida hit Maryland. The National Weather Service is forecasting as much as six inches of rain in western parts of the state beginning around midnight. Heavy rain will gradually push its way eastward on Wednesday before tapering off from west to east Wednesday night into early Thursday. Isolated tornadoes are possible as the weather system passes through the region on Wednesday.   

MDOT SHA crews started preparing yesterday by cleaning ditches, pipes, and inlets to ensure proper drainage, as highways could be affected by the heavy rain. Drivers are urged to look out for fallen trees/limbs and be prepared for scattered power outages.   

Crews at MDOT SHA maintenance facilities are 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 safe and passable during and after the severe weather event.   

Our Coordinated Highways Action Response Team, C.H.A.R.T Emergency Patrols will be out during the storm assisting with incidents and motorists . They will have units patrolling all areas of the State.   

Motorists are reminded to move over a lane when approaching first responder vehicles or utility trucks working roadside or assisting other motorists. If not safe to move over, motorists must slow down when passing these vehicles.    

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 their 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.   
  • If power is out at a traffic signal, State law requires ALL drivers at the intersection to treat it as a four-way stop.   
  • In case of an emergency along interstate routes, drivers with cellular phones can dial #77 for roadside assistance.   

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

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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