Southern Maryland counties, Ocean City prepare to get greatest impact of Elsa

Workers distribute sandbags in Alexandria, Virginia on Oct. 2,1016. (WTOP/Dennis Foley)

Tropical Storm Elsa is headed this way, and it looks like Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore could get the greatest impact.

“Calvert is surrounded by water like a lot of Southern Maryland,” said Mike Grierson, chief of the emergency management division for Calvert County.

Grierson said the best way to prepare is to get the Department of Public Safety’s free “Calvert Prepare” app.

“We try to make as much of that information available as possible so people can go get it there,” Grierson said.

Stephen Walker, the director of emergency services in St. Mary’s County, told residents to stay home starting at 6 p.m., when the storm is expected to start.

“Stay in the house; don’t go out; if you have a generator make sure you start it,” Walker said. “Get your flashlights ready, because you may lose power tonight.”

Walker said paying attention to emergency officials’ Facebook and Twitter pages is crucial.

There’s also a “Code Red Weather Warning” service to sign up for in St. Mary’s County through the government’s website.

If you’re headed to the beach, sign up for Ocean City’s City Wide Emergency Alerts.

Ocean City’s emergency services personnel are watching the storm closely as well.

“To begin preparing, citizens should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan,” an Ocean City news release said.

“If nothing else, it’s good practice to still know where to find this information and still put the kids together and know what you would do,” Grierson said.

If you have a lot of water near your property or you’re prone to flooding, sandbags could be important. Grierson said they’re giving out sandbags at the Stafford Salt Dome until 7 p.m. at 335 Stafford Road in Barstow.

“Get those and use them as they see fit,” Grierson said.

Walker said that St. Mary’s County is also giving them out at all County Convenience Center locations:

  • Charlotte Hall — 37766 New Market Turner Rd.
  • Oakville — 26630 North Sandgates Rd.
  • Clements — 24547 Horseshoe Rd.
  • St. Andrews — 44595 St. Andrews Church Rd.
  • Valley Lee — 45350 Happyland Rd.
  • Ridge — 13939 Point Lookout Rd.

Grierson said you need to think ahead about putting together things you may need at home.

“Make sure you have enough water on hand, you have enough food on hand, flashlights, first aid kits, you know, extra batteries,” Grierson said.

And he said make sure you don’t forget to make a plan for any family pets. “They’re part of your family for many folks.”

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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