Already Water-Logged, Chesapeake Braces for Florence and More Rain

hurricane florence

Hurricane Florence barreling towards the East Coast.


Virginia coast in emergency mode; upper Bay officials worry saturated soils could making flooding worse if storm brings heavy rain

As Hurricane Florence barrels toward landfall along the Carolina coast, local areas in the Chesapeake region are readying for strong winds and considerable flooding. Florence might become the strongest hurricane to hit the eastern seaboard in decades.

Following record precipitation across the watershed, including in Washington, Baltimore, Richmond, and Harrisburg, saturated soil only increases the risks that floodwaters will bring additional freshwater, sediment, and debris into the Bay.

The impact of recent rains and Florence on the Bay will require careful study, but as Florence approaches, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is focused on keeping our staff safe, our remote environmental education centers protected, and our boats secure. We are also urging local residents to heed warnings and follow instructions from their state and local governments.

Here's what you can do to prepare:

There's an app for that! The FEMA app available for Apple and Android mobile devices gives real-time alerts, safety tips, shelter, and other information.

In Virginia, Gov. Northam on Tuesday morning issued a mandatory evacuation order for coastal residents in "Zone A" that includes parts of Hampton Roads and the Eastern Shore of the state. The site helps residents know in which zone they live. The site also provides information on how to evacuate, a suitable emergency kit, and other information. Another VA emergency management site, reportedly crashed on Tuesday.

But social media sites are helpful:

Virginia is the southern-most state with the Chesapeake region and most directly in Florence's possible path. But Maryland, Delaware, and even Pennsylvania could receive heavy rains and some strong winds.

Maryland Gov. Hogan declared a state of emergency on Monday. The Maryland Emergency Management Agency website at offers comprehensive information. While no evacuation orders had been ordered in Maryland by Tuesday, officials urged residents to visit to prepare for possible orders as the storm progresses. Try social media:

Further north in Florence's path, Pennsylvania residents can find information at:

As of press time, the following CBF events have been canceled due to the impending storm. Please stay tuned for rescheduling details.

  • Wednesday, September 12: VoiCeS 2018 Hampton Roads, Brock Environmental Center, Virginia Beach
  • Thursday, September 13: Bay Discovery Skipjack Trip, Annapolis, MD
  • Thursday, September 13: Slurp and Learn, Dorchester, MD
  • Thursday, September 13: Queen Anne's County Board of Commissioners Candidate Forum on the Environment, Eastern Shore of Maryland
  • Saturday, September 15: Clamboree, Virginia's Eastern Shore
  • Saturday, September 15: Bay Discovery Fishing Trip, Annapolis, MD

Find out more on our events calendar.

Tom Zolper, CBF Senior Writer

Issues in this Post

Water Quality   CBF in Maryland   CBF in Virginia   Eastern Shore Office   Hampton Roads Office   Maryland Office, Annapolis   Pennsylvania Office   Virginia Office, Richmond  


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