10 p.m. Monday. Good news: No injuries or deaths reported today in the Ocean City area. Some minor damage to buildings, but no major property damage confirmed so far, except for the large Ocean City fishing and amusement pier.
I’m surprised that, at least in my neighborhood of West Ocean City, this evening’s high tide has passed with less flooding than early this morning. The streets in my neighborhood are not flooded, although there may be some areas with standing water. Flooding seems to have gone down on many streets on the island of Ocean City.
Worcester County issued this advisory earlier:
“Worcester County advises residents in the West Ocean City area that county side roads are impassable from flood waters.
Rescue personnel have already done numerous water rescues from people who are trying to drive through high water. This is putting first responders at risk unnecessarily.
Emergency responders will be unavailable to rescue those who choose to ignore this advisory due to the fast approaching deteriorating weather.”
In view of the Worcester County advisory, please exercise extreme caution when driving in the area. Stay off the roads if you can. I have no reliable information about the condition of roads, except for the one in front of my house.
I think the direction of the wind has pushed against the incoming tide in the Ocean City area. Otherwise, the tide would have been higher. We have another high tide Tuesday morning, with changing winds, so conditions over the next 24 hours remain unpredictable.
Wind and rain not as consistently heavy here as earlier in the evening, but strong gusts continue. I’m sure we’ll have wind and rain throughout the night.
The Route 90 bridge into and out of Ocean City was closed to nonemergency traffic at 5 p.m. Monday afternoon. I have no idea about plans to reopen the Route 50 and Route 90 bridges.
Heavy wind reported on Kent Island on the other side of the Eastern Shore. I believe that much of Crisfield has been evacuated.
Gov. Martin O’Malley reports 280,000 homes have lost power throughout Maryland so far. However, no serious power outages in the Ocean City area. High winds and rain in most of Maryland throughout the night. Gov. O’Malley warns that many trees may be blown down during the night, increasing power outages.
Hurricane Sandy came ashore about five miles south of Atlantic City. The New Jersey shore and Delaware coast suffered more damage than here on the Maryland coast. I don’t know how bad the situation will get in the New York City area.
The storm, now no longer at hurricane strength, was reported near Wilmington, Del., a few minutes ago and will cross the northeast corner of Maryland and the northern Chesapeake Bay. The worst conditions for northern and central Maryland are expected between now and dawn. Several more inches of rain possible through the night and into Tuesday morning.
Blizzard warnings in effect for Western Maryland. 18-22 inches of snow possible in the mountains. In addition to snow, Western Maryland has seen lightning!
Coastal flooding all along the Chesapeake Bay coastline expected Tuesday, as the wind direction changes, pushing the storm surge into the Chesapeake. I’m not sure how the changing wind circulation will affect us here in Ocean City. It may be that our high tides Tuesday morning and evening will be as high or higher than on Monday. I’m taking nothing for granted. We’ll continue to have more beach erosion throughout the night and Tuesday, I’m sure. However, rain in the Ocean City area may taper off Tuesday.
The governor has cancelled ALL schools throughout Maryland for Tuesday.
Officials continue to urge people to stay indoors and off the roads. Shelters are open throughout the East Coast for those who need them.
This will be my last weather update for tonight. Please monitor your best local sources for weather coverage. I will NOT attempt to keep up with conditions throughout Maryland. However, I plan to give updates from Ocean City and West Ocean City on Tuesday, electricity permitting.
Be safe, John Hayden