Skip Navigation

COVID-19 Coronavirus Updates and Guidance

The County is taking a number of actions to keep residents safe and minimize the spread of COVID-19. Find status information for County operations and services.

Public Safety News


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: rain

The U.S. Small Business Administration has made Economic Injury Disaster Loans available to certain small businesses affected by rain and flash flooding that began July 21, 2018.

This economic aid is available to small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations in Baltimore County and several other Maryland counties.

The deadline to submit completed applications is November 20, 2019.

More Information from SBA

The following is text from the SBA's news release:

“These counties are eligible because they are contiguous to one or more primary counties in Pennsylvania. The Small Business Administration recognizes that disasters do not usually stop at county or state lines. For that reason, counties adjacent to primary counties named in the declaration are included,” said Kem Fleming, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East.

Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and non farm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers and ranchers.

The loan amount can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 2.5 percent for private nonprofit organizations of all sizes and 3.61 percent for small businesses, with terms up to 30 years. The SBA determines eligibility based on the size of the applicant, type of activity and its financial resources. Loan amounts and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition. These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.

Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at

Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to Loan applications can be downloaded from

Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management oversees disaster response.

Baltimore County Emergency Management officials are preparing for Hurricane Florence to bring heavy rains and serious inland and/or coastal flooding to our area.

The potential for flooding and for trees to topple and bring down power lines is greater because soils are saturated already from months of above-average rainfall. Residents should prepare now to get along for seven days without power, said BCoFD Division Chief Jay Ringgold, who oversees the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

"This is a serious, potentially catastrophic storm," Ringgold said. "Don't wait until the last minute to buy supplies and think about how you will get along if the worst happens and power goes out for an extended period. Take steps today to prepare."

NWS Forecast Update

Local emergency management officials participated this morning in the National Weather Service's telephone update on the Florence forecast. Here is the latest:

  • Forecasters are increasingly confident that Florence -- now a Category 4 storm -- will make landfall in the Carolinas, probably late Thursday. The storm is expected to be at least a Category 3 at landfall, with significant storm surge.
  • Forecasters are less certain where the storm will track and how fast it will move once it moves inland. Right now, most expect our area to feel the first effects of the storm late Thursday. The NWS believes the storm will stall, dumping heavy rains. The storm's wind speeds, once it moves inland, are difficult to predict; the amount of wind depends on where and how quickly (or slowly) it moves.
  • Because the storm is expected to stall and produce heavy rains, inland and coastal flooding are major threats throughout the south and the mid-Atlantic. In some areas, flooding could be historic and catastrophic.
  • The emergency from Florence is exacerbated because the ground is already so saturated. Trees are expected to fall, especially in areas that experience heavy wind, causing power outages and posing at threat to life and property.

Baltimore County emergency managers will continue to receive regular updates throughout this weather event. Follow this blog and our social media accounts -- @BaltCoemergency on Twitter and @BaltCoFire on Facebook --  for updated  information.

What You Need to Do

Every household should prepare for this weather emergency as soon as possible.

"The exact track of a hurricane is difficult to predict the exact track of a hurricane, and we could very well find ourselves affected by dangerous flooding and strong winds later this week," said County Executive Don Mohler. "It is imperative for each of us to think ahead and prepare to provide for the needs of our loved ones, especially the elderly, children and pets.”

Think about how you will manage if the power goes out for an extended period. Steps to take now:

  • Locate and purchase supplies. You need non-perishable food, a manual can opener, medications, supplies for infants and vulnerable adults, pet supplies, flashlights/batteries and a battery-powered radio.
  • Buy or store extra water -- at least a gallon per person, per day, plus extra for pets.
  • Fully charge all your electric devices. If power goes out, use them sparingly to make them last as long as possible.
  • Get cash. ATMs will not work during a power outage, so visit one now.
  • Secure boats and outdoor furniture.
  • Plan where you will evacuate if you live in a flood-prone area and need to move to higher ground.
  • Assist vulnerable family, neighbors with storm preparations. This is critical; many vulnerable people, including older people cannot prepare by themselves.
  • Stay informed about the track of this storm. Follow weather forecasts and our social media posts, @BaltCoEmergency on Twitter and @BaltCoFire on Facebook.

BCoFD's Preparations

BCoFD and the Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management have been monitoring this storm for days and preparing for a "worst-case scenario" response. These preparations include:

  • Inspecting swiftwater and high-water rescue equipment; pumps and other apparatus.
  • Reviewing staffing and operational plans.
  • Preparing  to open and staff the Emergency Operations Center, in case this becomes an emergency requiring a coordinated, multi-agency response.
  • Contacting our mutual aid partners in case we need additional resources.
  • Regular updates with National Weather Service regarding the forecast.

Update, July 25, 11 a.m.:

As of 11 a.m., career and volunteer swiftwater teams have responded to 32 water-related incidents since unusually heavy rains began last Saturday.

The central and western portions of the county are most affected by this weather system. The latest calls for service -- mostly involving vehicles stuck in water -- occurred at Bentley Road and the NCR Trail, 21120; Kratz Lane and Ridge Road, 21244; Falls Road and Newstead Lane, 21209; 11000 block York Rd., 21030; and 1300 block Wiseburg Rd., 21161.

No injuries have been reported.

National Weather Service flood warnings remain in effect through 4 p.m. today. Do not drive through standing water, avoid flood-prone areas and stay away from swollen creeks and streams.

Original release:

As of 11 a.m. today, swiftwater teams from the Swiftwater incident at Stevenson and Hillside roads, Pikesville.Texas Fire Station and two volunteer companies have responded to 27 incidents related to the unusually heavy rains that began Saturday.

The National Weather Service estimates that four to eight inches have fallen across our region since then. Radar indicates significant moisture heading in a northerly direction that will add to those totals; two to three additional inches are forecast over the next two days.

Most of the water-related incidents occurred on the west side of the County: three in the Cockeysville area, eight in Pikesville, three in Owings Mills, five in Halethorpe and six in Woodlawn. Two incidents occurred in the Dundalk area.

Fifteen of the 27 calls involved rescues or assists -- situations where victims needed first responders' help in getting to safety. No serious injures have been reported.

Swiftwater teams are located at the Texas Fire Station and the Kingsville and Arbutus volunteer companies.

"Turn Around, Don't Drown"

All but one of the 27 water-related calls involve vehicles trapped in floodwaters.

Motorists should use extreme caution when driving in these conditions. Because the ground is saturated, heavy rains will run off and flood roadways. Flash flooding -- which occurs suddenly -- is particularly dangerous. Do not attempt to drive through floodwaters; turn around, don't drown.

Swiftwater rescue, Gwynn Oak areaNighttime conditions are particularly hazardous because flooded roads are difficult to see. Motorists can find themselves trapped in water that they didn't realize was there.

Avoid traveling at night, if possible. Avoid low-lying routes and routes that involve bridges; streams are swollen, and in these conditions waters can rise to bridge level.

Pedestrians should avoid walking through floodwaters and stay away from streams and creeks.

Revised October 16, 2020               
A new website for Baltimore County

We're working to provide you with a better experience, and want your feedback. Learn more about our project and give your feedback.