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Baltimore County Police and Fire News

Official News Blog of Baltimore County police, fire, homeland security and emergency management. Call 911 to report crimes in progress and emergencies.
Keyword: hurricane

Baltimore County emergency preparedness officals remain concerned about the potential for inland flooding and fallen trees, though rainfall totals are expected to be less than feared and Hurricane Joaquin is forecast to stay off the Atlantic Coast.

Emergency managers have received regular briefings from the National Weather Service and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency since Wednesday. The current forecast calls for 2 to 3 inches of rain today and tonight, with the likelihood of inland flooding of streams, rivers and roads and some minor shore flooding in southeastern Baltimore County. Winds with gusts of up to 30 mph are forecast and could bring down trees and power lines.

The latest models show Hurricane Joaquin staying far enough off the coast that little to no rain and wind should affect Central Maryland. 

Emergency managers continue to monitor weather conditions.

Call 911 to report flooded roads, fallen trees or other weather emergencies.

Baltimore County's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (HSEM) is preparing for severe weather now through Monday.

Emergency management officials are monitoring back-to-back weather systems expected to impact our region. The National Weather Service forecast first calls for heavy rain and winds up to 25 mph beginning Friday and possibly continuing into Saturday. This event is likely to cause flooding of inland streams and rivers, flooded roadways and some tree damage.

Beginning Sunday and lasting into Monday, Virginia and Maryland may be affected by Hurricane Joaquin, now a Category 3 storm with 126 mph winds located over the Bahamas. The storm is forecast to move up the Atlantic coast, though the exact track is uncertain at this point. Joaquin's impact on Baltimore County will depend on its track. Potential concerns include  high winds that bring power outages and storm surge or high tides for coastal flooding.

"This weather event -- a major hurricane following on the heels of heavy rain -- is almost identical to scenarios we use in Emergency Operation Center exercises," said Mark Hubbard, director of HSEM.

County emergency management personnel are monitoring this weather system closely. Regular briefings with NWS and Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) officials began yesterday and will continue for the duration of these weather events.

Emergency management personnel -- who oversee a coordinated, multi-agency response to weather emergencies -- are reviewing emergency plans, staffing and equipment.

Staying Informed

We urge citizens to stay informed by bookmarking this news blog and following our official social media channels: @BACOemergency on Twitter and our Facebook page, (All information about the storm will be shared with our Twitter followers of daily Police and Fire news, @BACOPoliceFire.)

These are the only sites that provide confirmed, official news from Baltimore County about this weather emergency.

Personal Preparedness

Now is the time for families and individuals to prepare for power outages, flooding or other weather-related emergencies. Like emergency prepareness agencies nationwide, Baltimore County urges citizens to prepare to get along without power for three days. At minimum, your supplies should include:

  • Flashlights and extra batteries.
  • Water for drinking and personal hygiene (at least one gallon of drinking water per person, per day)
  • Communication tools. Make sure smart phones and other electronic devices are charged, and buy a battery-powered radio.

The greatest danger during flooding events involves flooded roadways. Most flash flooding deaths occur in vehicles. Do not drive through standing water, which is strong enough to carry away a car. Do not walk through standing water.

Emergency management officials also warn that saturated soils and heavy winds can combine to pose a hazard from falling trees.

Important emergency preparedness information is available on this web site and at,

Baltimore County emergency management leaders tomorrow will conduct a routine hurricane season "refresher" for Police, Fire, Public Works and other agencies involved in a response to natural disasters

Media are invited to a briefing in the Emergency Operations Center in Towson at 11:30 a.m., immediately following the training. County Executive Kevin Kamenetz and the County's director of Emergency Management, Mark Hubbard, will be available. Media should report to the security desk in lobby of the Historic Courthouse, 400 Washington Ave., 21204.

Baltimore County's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management usually conducts two refreshers each year – one before the winter storm season and one at the start of hurricane season or peak hurricane season. The Atlantic hurricane season begins in June, and most tropical storm activity occurs during August and September.

Typically, the County’s low-lying coastal areas are most vulnerable during a tropical storm or hurricane. Flooding of inland streams and rivers also may be a factor. The Emergency Operations Center activates for emergencies that require a multi-agency, coordinated response.

About Tomorrow's Activities

Tomorrow's EOC exercise will reacquaint existing agency representatives and introduce new representatives to basic EOC functions and procedures; technological resources available during an EOC activation; and communication and public notification tools. The exercise will conclude with a mock scenario that will allow agency representatives to discuss how they would respond to such an event.

The exercise and media briefing also are an opportunity to stress the importance of personal preparedness. Nationally, emergency management experts say it is essential for every home or business to be prepared to get through the first 72 hours following an emergency. It does not take a major disaster to create an emergency; a power outage of any duration can create inconvenience or serious problems if families and businessses do not have sufficient water and an emergency light source.


Revised April 6, 2016