Sandbagging operations began in Annapolis today for Annapolis business owners and residents who may be impacted by this weekend's high tides, that may create more flooding. The city of Annapolis said in a statement that an "unusually high tide" has already closed
Compromise Street in the city due to floodwaters today.
The high tide is expected to reach up to five point three feet, Saturday, October 30 at 1 a.m.. The city reports the National Weather Service as saying this weekends tides may become the third highest on record for Annapolis. In 2003 Hurricane Isabel created tides of 7.16 feet.
"We have heard from the National Weather Service that there will be severe flooding impact and there already is, " said Annapolis Mayor's Office spokeswoman Mitchelle Stephenson.
"The time to prepare for this storm is NOW,".the city stated in today's release.
With the tides now expected to be even higher than thought yesterday, city government expects impacts of this weather event will not only be felt downtown and in the City Dock area, but that flooding may hit in all low-lying areas of the City. That includes Eastport, in West Annapolis and along Bembe Beach and Edgewood Roads.
Flooding is expected to disrupt traffic. Travelers are advised to follow all police directions and not attempt to drive around police barricades or park in areas that police have closed.
In anticipation of flooding conditions in low-lying areas the city opened a self-service sandbag operation for Annapolis residents and business owners on Compromise Street at Donner Lot at 8 a.m. on Thursday morning, Oct. 28.
The city has 2,000 sandbags available and residents can fill them until supplies are depleted or until 5 p,m, Thursday.
Residents and business owners will be asked to show identification. Bags and shovels will be available for this self-service operation. There may be limits on the number of bags available based on demand.
Both Dock Street and Compromise Street typically begin to succumb to flooding when when floodwaters reach 3 point one feet. This weekends tides are expected to reach over five feet and not begin to subside untll Sunday.
The forecast mid-Atlantic weather disturbance is also expected to bring strong winds, rainy conditions. Strong winds from the expected storm system on Friday may exacerbate flooding, because high winds from the East often push water from the Chesapeake Bay further into vulnerable areas in Annapolis and the Western Shore of Maryland, the city stated.
The Annapolis Harbormaster has asked boat owners to check in on their boats after each high tide. As the water recedes, docked boats may shift to floating above the pier or lift. As water levels return to normal, boats may become lodged on fixed structures or atop other boats.
This can result in a vessel taking on water or sinking. The city asked boat owners to please check boats to prevent fuel leaks and property damage. In addition, the press release stated, boats should move off anchor to a mooring ball where possible. Boat owners are responsible for vessels that drag anchor and damage other boats or property.
Ahead of Friday’s rain and wind, the city advised residents to check gutters and stormdrains and remove leaves and debris that may block the ability of water to keep moving. This can also reduce the impacts of street flooding and water pooling around (and getting into) your home.
The city also advised securing loose objects outside around your property and avoiding driving through any floodwaters. And for residents to take advantage of the emergency alert system:
“Alert Annapolis” is a system that allows the City of Annapolis to send automated telephone messages, text messages, or emails quickly and efficiently in the event of an emergency. The brief message will provide information on the emergency and any important instructions. To sign up for Alert Annapolis, please go to the following site www.alertannapolis.regroup.com
“Prepare Me Annapolis Mobile App” is a free app from the Office of Emergency Management that provides emergency preparedness information to City of Annapolitans residents. The app delivers push notifications that include details and notices about City functions and activities. Prepare Me Annapolis is available, free of charge, on both the Apple Store and on Google Play.
Stephenson confirmed that flooding events in and near Annapolis have become "worse and more frequent" in recent years. That likely due to global warming, changing weather patterns and rising sea levels.
The latest Federal Emergency Management Agency maps anticipate more regular flooding, she said.
--From interview and releases