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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: weather

Two of Central Maryland’s most serious weather disasters – tornadoes and flooding – commonly occur during the spring and summer months.

Local emergency preparedness officials encourage citizens and business owners to take time now to:

  • Review their home and business emergency plans – or to develop one, if they don’t have one.
  • Familiarize themselves with where to go and what to do when tornadoes threaten.
  • Educate licensed drivers to “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” when confronted with standing water in roadways.

Flood Safety Awareness Week

March 21 to 25 is National Flood Safety Awareness Week.

Floods and flash floods take more lives than any other weather disaster. More than half of those fatalities occur when vehicles are swept away by flood waters.

The National Weather Service’s “Turn Around, Don’t Drown” campaign raises awareness about the hazards of attempting to drive through floodwaters. Visit for detailed information about this campaign and other flood safety issues.

Also, – the web site of the National Flood Insurance Program – is an extremely valuable resource about flood risks and flood insurance. The site contains the most recent information on flood maps and allows you to enter your zip code for information about your level of flood risk.

Tornado Season

Though tornadoes are usually associated with the Midwest, they are fairly common in Maryland as well. The conditions that spawn tornadoes can occur at any time of year, but especially in spring and summer.

Bookmark the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) excellent resource on tornadoes, This site includes where to go and what to do when a tornado is sighted.

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,


Revised April 6, 2016