Update 10/27/12 @2107: Romancing The Storm

It amazes me how just a few miles in one direction can change so much about a storm of this magnitude.

In my last update, I stressed how significant it was that the storm had shifted south, and if the center of the storm traveled up along the Chesapeake Bay, the storm surge would be at least 10 feet, if not more.

Now, at 8:30 p.m., the most recent update from the National Hurricane Center (below) places landfall for the storm just north of the mouth of the Bay. It now seems like the storm will track as far south as Kent, Cecil, and Harford Counties (direct hit). That doesn’t mean that the wind damage and rainfall will be any less significant and devastating; it just means that the storm surge along the Bay and its tributaries will be more like 2-3 feet, which is a huge relief to counties along the eastern and western shores.

So What’s Can We Expect For The Next 24 Hours?

Expect light showers (possible) after midnight tonight, with rain picking up Sunday morning (after 8 a.m.). Winds will really pick up early this morning (18-25 mph) and will stay consistent throughout the day; Sunday evening, they will increase to 25-30 mph. This is all a precursor to when the storm hits us on Monday.

One of the biggest causes of flooding will be storm drains that are clogged with wet leaves. If we do our best to keep the storm drains clean — SAFELY, then we decrease the chances of heavy flooding. If you have a storm drain near your house, cleaning it periodically can make a big difference. Remember, though: never take an unnecessary risk in this storm. It will be very dangerous and highly unpredictable with downed power lines, trees, and even airborne debris.

Update on School Closings

As of 9:07 p.m., the following schools and universities have announced closings:

  • Salisbury University (Monday)
  • Tri-State Christian Academy
  • University of Delaware (Monday and Tuesday)
  • Washington College (Monday and Tuesday)
  • William & Mary (Monday)

You can get school closing updates from WBALTV.com, if you aren’t connected to any text-alert system for your your school or university. I will post an updated list in my next report tomorrow morning.

Power Outages

As of 8:50 p.m., BGE is reporting the following outages (32 total):

  • Anne Arundel: 1
  • Baltimore: 18
  • Baltimore City: 2
  • Calvert: 2
  • Harford: 3
  • Howard: 4
  • Prince George’s: 2

You can check for power outage updates here; BGE does a great job of keeping these numbers updated every 15 minutes or so

Update from Howard County Government

Being Prepared for Hurricane Sandy Hurricane Sandy will be impacting Howard County between Sunday afternoon and Wednesday. The worst of the storm will be affecting the area on Monday and Tuesday. If you have not yet made preparations, you need to do so ASAP. The weather will be deteriorating through the day tomorrow (Sunday), making preparations increasingly difficult to make.

This storm is colossal in size, with tropical storm-force winds extending for 450 miles in each direction from the center. The hurricane will be combining with a nor’easter storm and getting even larger in diameter. This means that the storm is NOT likely to miss Howard County. Please do not fail to make preparations because you believe the storm is going to miss. Substantial power outages are almost certain, and may last a few days to a week.

All residents should prepare as best they can for extended outages. Residents should expect sustained winds of 35-45 MPH, with gusts to 60 MPH, during the storm. The storm is currently expected to produce rainfall of 5-10 inches total. ———- For those residents who have not yet completed their preparations or are unsure what to do, Howard County Government offers the following recommendations to assist:

  • -Make a Disaster Supply Kit to make sure your needs during the storm and shortly thereafter are covered. Recommended items for a Disaster Supply Kit can be found here: http://mema.maryland.gov/prepared/Pages/DisasterSupplyKit.aspx
  • Listen to a battery-operated/hand-cranked radio or TV for news updates and evacuation routes. –
  • Fill up your car with fuel; gas stations may not be able to operate pumps right after the storm –
  • Get extra cash – ATMs and credit card machines are dependent on power. –
  • Stay inside whenever possible during the storm. Do not drive unless you absolutely must. –
  • Look out for high standing water and DO NOT drive through it. You could be trapped or stranded. –
  • Be aware of creeks and other low lying areas that are prone to sudden flooding –
  • Secure loose outdoor objects and bring pets inside. –
  • Use food supplies wisely. Keep your refrigerator doors closed. Use refrigerated foods first, frozen foods second and non-perishable foods last. For food safety tips and information, visit http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/poweroutage/needtoknow.asp.

Important Numbers, Websites, And Social Media Sites To Know:

RADIO:
WBAL 1090 AM and wbal.com

WEB:
National Hurricane Center
BGE: Report Power Outages by calling 877-778-2222
Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA)METEOROLOGISTS/WEATHER FORECASTERS:
Justin Berk (@JustinWeather)
Foot’s Forecast

SCHOOL CLOSINGS:
WBALTV.com

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