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O’Malley: 280,000 Without Power, Intense 12 Hours Coming

Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New Jersey a couple of hours ago and Marylanders can expect heavy rain and strong winds for the next 12 hours.

The eye of Hurricane Sandy is making its way through the upper Chesapeake Bay and 280,000 Maryland residents are without power, Gov. Martin O’Malley said Monday night.

The storm made landfall near Cape May, New Jersey, earlier Monday night, according to meteorologist Ken Wedelski of the National Weather Service. It is moving on a north/northwest course but is slowing down, moving at about 23 mph.

About half of the citizens in Cecil and Harford counties are without power. Rain and strong winds will continue in the Baltimore-Washington corridor. Blizzard warnings are in effect for Western Maryland and tidal flooding is expected, Wedelski said at MEMA headquarters in Reisterstown during the governor’s 9:30 p.m. press conference.

“The next 12 hours will likely be the most intense,” O’Malley said.

At least one storm-related death occurred Monday morning in Montgomery County. As of the press conference, officials were clearing an accident involving four tractor-trailers on I-68 Westbound, which was closed at exit 29, O’Malley said.

Northern Maryland will experience the worst of the storm between Monday night and dawn, Wedelski said. The Baltimore area and east will see eight to 12 inches of rain with winds of 30 to 45 mph and wind gusts of 55 to 65 mph. The Washington, D.C., area will see five to 10 inches of rain, Wedelski said.

High-elevation areas in Western Maryland could see 18 to 24 inches of snow, and there is a coastal flood warning for the Chesapeake Bay, Wedelski said.

In Crisfield, there was a tide surge three to five feet higher than anticipated.

Twenty-four critical care facilities are operating on generators. That includes five nursing homes, 17 assisted living facilities and two hospitals, O’Malley said.

Forty-one shelters are open in state jurisdictions and four state shelters are open. Approximately 1,200 Maryland residents, most from the Eastern Shore, are staying in the shelters, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown said.

With schools and state government closed tomorrow, the state will have an opportunity to evaluate the state of critical infrastructure and government facilities, Brown said.

Jay Levy October 30, 2012 at 01:30 PM
While the right wing religious raving ranters will no doubt claim that this historic storm is a warning to some kinds of sinners somewhere, maybe, just maybe, it's really a sign from Mother Nature who's pissed that neither candidate brought up global climate change during the three "debates."
bpositive October 30, 2012 at 05:32 PM
do the schools in Aberdeen have power?
amark October 31, 2012 at 01:33 AM
Obviously a governor has a job to do when this kind of disaster strikes. However it seems this man enjoys the opportunity these types of events give him to raise his profile. We already know he loves showing up on the cable shows as often as possible and playing to his far left base with his rhetoric. His statement that "people will die" was outrageous. Unfortunately some people did lose their lives and that is tragic, but a public official normally does not come out with that sort of comment. And this is not just a partisan statement. I also find Chris Christie's bombastic statements and performance to the cameras during these disasters to be over the line as well.
amark October 31, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Can you prove this was caused by "climate change". Of course you can't. Every time any type of severe weather event like this happens, the global warming crowd is eager to jump on it for political purposes. Heatwave? climate change. Blizzard? climate change. Hurricane? climate change. Sunny and 75 degrees? climate change.

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