The Charles County Department of Emergency Services will open a shelter today at 6 P.M. at Milton Somers Middle School, 300 Willow Lane, La Plata, Maryland, for residents and visitors in areas of the County that are subject to flooding who feel that may need to leave their homes due to the impacts of Tropical Storm Ernesto.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a coastal and flash flood warning for Charles County between 7 p.m. tonight and 6 a.m. Saturday morning. The NWS reports that Charles County may have wind gusts of up to 45 mph and an additional 4 inches of rain by tomorrow (Saturday) morning.
Areas subject to flooding include, but are not limited to, the tidal waters of the Potomac River, including Cobb Island, Rock Point, Swan Point, Morgantown, Cliffton, Wicomico Beach, Banks O' Dee, Piccawaxen Creek, and Cuckold Creek, areas around the Port Tobacco River, Chapel Point, Port Tobacco Creek, Mattawoman Creek, Marshall Hall, Nanjemoy Creek, and Benedict.
If you have special needs in order to leave your home, please call the Charles County Emergency Operations Center at 301-609-3435.
If decide to come to the shelter, instead of staying with friends or family, please ensure you remember to bring:
* one or two changes of clothes
* personal hygiene products
* medicines, dentures, eye glasses, contact lenses and related supplies
* important family records
* games and books for children
* specialty items (baby formula, diapers, bottles, etc.)
Residents may bring their pets. However, they cannot remain in the shelter, but provisions will be made by Charles County Animal Control Services to house and feed them until owners may return to their residences.
Route 5: Route 488 (La Plata Road); right onto Charles Street; Willow Lane will be the next street on the left.
Please keep tuned to local radio and television stations for weather updates on the path of Tropical Storm Ernesto and other emergency information. Updates will also be placed on the Countys automated response system, 301-645-0600, the News Releases on the County Government web site, www.charlescounty.org, as well as Channel 95, the Charles County Government cable channel for Charles County Comcast subscribers.