Strong waves, rip currents in Md. as Dorian parallels East Coast

Well on its way to the Canadian Maritimes as a Category 2 hurricane, Dorian’s impacts will continue to be felt in the Maryland and Virginia coastal regions this weekend.

While the center of Dorian was moving offshore Cape Cod toward Nova Scotia on Saturday morning, the National Weather Service said coastal flooding and strong wave action will linger around the Chesapeake Bay and Eastern Shore until late Sunday.

Even with Dorian headed out to sea, high waves will last into the weekend. In addition, there could be possible coastal flooding with storm surge, and there is also the lasting potential for serious beach erosion.

In a beach hazards statement on Saturday, the weather service said Maryland beaches in Worcester and Accomack counties, from Ocean City south to Fishermans Inlet, can expect breaking waves of 3 to 5 feet, resulting in rough surf and a high risk of rip currents on ocean-facing shores through Saturday evening.

Swimmers who become caught in a rip current are advised not to resist, and swim in a direction parallel to the shoreline. Read more on rip current safety.

Coastal flood watches and advisories remain in effect through Saturday afternoon for Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties in Maryland, where the weather service said up to one foot of floodwater on low-lying streets is possible during high tides. In Annapolis, flooding was observed on Compromise Street and the City Dock parking lot.

The Maryland Department of Transportation prepared for potential flooding along the Eastern Shore and southern Maryland ahead of the storm.

“Even though the path right now is uncertain with Hurricane Dorian, or the remnants of that storm, the (MDOT) State Highway Administration is preparing for the worst, hoping for the best here,” spokesman Charlie Gischlar said Friday.

“There’s gonna be probably some flooding on the lower Eastern Shore and portions of some of the Southern Maryland counties, too. The areas that flood during high tides generally will see some kind of impact from this storm as it transitions from the south and moves out to sea toward the northeast.”

MDOT SHA crews are inspecting and, if necessary, clearing drainage inlets, storm drains and drainage ditches, according to Gischlar.

“Citizens and drivers are urged to watch this very closely and watch the high tide cycle. If you come to an area with water that’s over the roadway, best advice is to turn around, don’t drown. It only takes a couple inches of water to start (moving) a vehicle,” Gischlar said.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on Monday; and on Thursday, the Virginia Department of Transportation canceled some planned lane closures.


In the D.C. area, Saturday and Sunday will be dry with afternoon highs in the low 80s and overnight lows in the mid to low 60s.

Saturday will have more sunshine and a northwest breeze. Sunday will see a gradual increase in clouds with light winds.

Saturday: Partly to mostly sunny. Highs between 77 to 83 degrees.

Sunday: Morning sunshine. More clouds by the evening. Highs between 77 to 83 degrees.

Monday: Mostly cloudy. Warm a bit humid. Highs 76 to 81 degrees.

Current weather

WTOP’s Will Vitka and Alejandro Alvarez contributed to this report.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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