The D.C. area is starting to feel the impact of Ian, now a post-tropical cyclone, with rain and increasing winds being reported in the region. Here’s what you need to know.
- Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan has activated an emergency management team, with the state preparing for possible impact.
- Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency, which allows the state to mobilize resources and equipment.
- The D.C. area can expect steady rain though early Saturday morning.
- Showers continue this weekend, bringing potential flooding and high winds.
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Friday showers, gusty winds
In Maryland, Hogan said Friday that the state was “preparing on all fronts to deal with the remnants of the storm. As we always emphasize with potential flooding events, it is critical for drivers to avoid rising waters—‘turn around, don’t drown.’ We advise Marylanders to watch the forecast closely throughout the weekend and heed local warnings.”
The first round of light to moderate rain arrived in the area late Friday afternoon. However, heavy will deluge the area through 5 a.m. Saturday, bringing with it winds between 15 to 20 mph and gusts of up to 35 mph.
It will be enough to saturate the soil overnight, which might cause some sporadic tree damage.
The region could see light to moderate rain become heavy downpours over night, said Storm Team4 meteorologist Chad Merrill.
“The best risk for an isolated tornado, as is typical east of a tropical system’s circulation, will occur southeast of D.C. in southern Maryland overnight,” Merrill said. “Winds will increase out of the east and after the soil gets closer to saturation early Saturday, a few trees with weak root systems (mainly older, weaker trees) could collapse onto roadways.”
Wind gusts of about 35-40 mph are expected, with even stronger winds in Southern Maryland and along the Blue Ridge. People in those areas should prepare for possible power outages.
Calvert and St. Mary’s counties, in Southern Maryland, have issued wind advisories through 4 a.m. Saturday.
Wind Advisories are in effect over portions of the area with northeasterly gusts up to 50 mph. The highest gusts should focus across the mountain ridges and along the shores of the Chesapeake. This will be accompanied by a batch of moderate to heavy rain. #MDwx #VAwx #DCwx #WVwx pic.twitter.com/sBDfzckWc9
— NWS Baltimore-Washington (@NWS_BaltWash) September 30, 2022
Saturday: More rain
On Saturday, Ian’s center is expected to move into West Virginia and stall.
Heavy rain may be seen Friday night into Saturday morning with a break in the afternoon.
“This means a prolonged period of rain will continue through Monday,” Merrill said. “The rain will be heaviest overnight and again on Sunday when isolated flash flooding could occur. The persistent easterly wind through the weekend will put those vulnerable spots along the Chesapeake Bay’s western coastline and the Lower Potomac at risk for flooding. The strongest winds will occur in southern Maryland where gusts could top 50 mph and on the Blue Ridge where gusts will reach 40 mph overnight.”
Overall, about 2 to 3 inches of rain are expected through Monday.
“While regionwide Flood Watches have not yet been issued, in this particular scenario, there is a good chance for minor river, creek and stream flooding late Sunday into Monday as the runoff takes time to empty into the river basins and trigger rising levels,” Merrill said. “Also note, the persistent easterly flow at the Mid-Atlantic beaches will produce flooding and coastal erosion this weekend.”
Worcester County, Maryland, which is home to Ocean City, is under a Tropical Storm Warning, according to the Maryland Department of Emergency Management.
On Friday afternoon, a coastal flood watch went into effect for St. Mary’s County, and a gale watch is in effect for lower portions of the tidal Potomac and Chesapeake Bay.
Officials in Calvert County in Southern Maryland handed out sand and sandbags to county residents who needed them to prepare for possible flooding.
In Maryland, what’s left of #HurricaneIan could have the biggest impacts in Calvert + St. Mary’s Counties. Here in Chesapeake Beach, at the Kellam’s Field Complex, residents can fill & take up to 10 sandbags per household @WTOP pic.twitter.com/tAOX2jF7Zx
— Michelle Basch (@mbaschWTOP) September 30, 2022
In D.C. a coastal flood advisory is in through 3 p.m. Saturday, with some flooding possible near the Tidal Basin and Jefferson Memorial.
Rain showers coming from the south will move north throughout the day, the National Weather Service reported.
Road crews in both Maryland and Virginia inspected and cleared drainage ditches to prepare for the storm.
Representatives for Dominion Energy and Pepco said the power companies are preparing possible power outages.
“Dominion energy is preparing for strong gusty winds and the potential for power outages in central, eastern and southside Virginia later this evening and into early Saturday morning . We have more than 400 bucket trucks in position across all three regions. Our crews are prepared to work around the clock to restore any customer outages. We also have crews remaining in Northern Virginia to respond as needed.”
State of emergency in Virginia; canceled events in the DC area
Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin already declared a state of emergency in anticipation of possible effects from the storm.
“We want to ensure that our communities have the resources needed to respond to and recover from any potential effects from the storm,” Youngkin said.
“We’re planning for rainfall projections anywhere from about 2 to more than 6 inches,” said Lauren Opett, spokeswoman with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
The southern, central and eastern portions of the state are expected to get hit the hardest.
“It’s important to note that even when the storm exits, higher-than-normal tides could continue until Tuesday,” Opett said.
The expected severe weather has led to cancellations or postponements of events scheduled to take place through the weekend.
The rain from the remnants of Ian may persist into Monday night or Tuesday.
- Friday Night: Rainy and windy. Rain heavy at times. Lows 55 to 60.
- Saturday: Rain. Windy. Rain moderate at times. Highs low to mid-60s.
- Sunday: Some showers. Breezy. Highs mid to upper 60s.
- Monday: Becoming partly sunny. Highs in the low to mid-60s.
- Tuesday: Morning shower then partly sunny. Highs in the low to mid-60s.
WTOP’s Hugh Garbrick contributed to this report.