SHA Prepares for Heavy Rains, High Winds, Serious Flooding

(Sept. 5, 2008)—The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) will mobilize hundreds of crews early Saturday morning, September 6, in advance of the inclement weather expected this weekend. The National Weather Service is predicting between six and eight inches of rain in central Maryland and along Maryland’s Eastern Shore, which may cause road closures, flooding and travel delays.

In addition, power outages and downed trees may occur as a result of heavy rains and high winds. Motorists should never attempt to cross a flooded roadway. Eighty percent of flood-related deaths occur in vehicles. Two feet of rapidly moving water can float a bus, and six inches can knock a person off his or her feet.

“SHA encourages motorists and all citizens to take the necessary steps to prepare for this weekend’s storm,” said SHA Administrator Neil J. Pedersen. “It is imperative motorists stay turned to local radio and television for the latest information as the storm progresses. SHA crews will respond throughout the storm and we ask drivers to use caution. ”

Some of the actions SHA has taken in preparation for Tropical Storm Hannah include:

-- Inspection and cleaning all storm drains, inlets and drainage ditches.

-- Verifying operation of backup power generators at critical facilities.

-- Securing all construction projects.

-- Inventorying fuel supplies and identifying locations for potential emergency deliveries.

-- Verifying stocks of essential supplies and equipment parts.

-- Readying traffic control devices and high water signing.

-- Notifying and securing tree trimming and debris removal contractors.

-- Identifying personnel and equipment resources to redeploy to the Eastern Shore, if needed, to support implementation of emergency traffic evacuation plans.

-- Coordinating emergency operations plans with local jurisdictions and supporting transportation agencies.

SHA may use arrow boards and high-water signs to alert motorists of flooded roadways. SHA will monitor weather and traffic conditions and continually update our website with up-to-the-minute roadway closure information. For a complete list of weather-related closures, log onto and click on the CHART icon.

For information about the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, motorists should call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) or visit for current Bay Bridge traffic conditions. In addition, motorists can call 1-888-MDTA (6382) or visit for current Hatem Bridge traffic conditions.

Source: Maryland Department of Transportation

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