Area road crews prepare for Florence

WASHINGTON — As Hurricane Florence swirls toward the East Coast, road crews around the region are preparing for the worst.

“This is a major storm system, and it will likely cause significant damage and disruption to the state highway system,” said Gregory Slater, Maryland State Highway administrator. “Maryland has received above-normal rainfall throughout summer, and the ground is saturated. So additional rain is likely to run off rapidly.”

Maintenance crews will be working along area roadways over the next few days, clearing debris from drains.

“We’re making sure that they are open and will hold the volume of water that they were designed to carry,” said Wayne Turner, a maintenance operator with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

VDOT is also trimming dead or low-hanging branches that could come down on roads during a storm.

Think ahead so you can stay off the roads during the height of the storm, urged Maryland State Highway Administration spokesman Charlie Gischlar.

“You have a lot of time to plan and get things from the store and make arrangements to ride it out at your house where you’re a lot safer,” he said.

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Michelle Basch

Michelle Basch is a reporter turned morning anchor at WTOP News.

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