LEONARDTOWN, MD — Tropical Cyclone Sixteen is set to wreak havoc on Southern Maryland, prompting local counties to issue multiple warnings and closures. The National Weather Service forecasts tropical storm-force winds, storm surge, heavy rainfall, and high surf affecting the region until Sunday morning. Specifically, St. Mary’s, Charles, and Calvert Counties have initiated severe weather preparations.

Charles County faces the most immediate flood risk, with coastal flood watches declared for its tidal Potomac areas. Up to five feet of high tides are expected this Saturday. Cobb Island tide schedule can be accessed here; tide gauge weather reports are also available.

St. Mary’s and Calvert Counties offer self-service sandbags at various locations on a first-come, first-served basis.

Regarding public services, St. Mary’s County Government, administrative offices, senior centers, and public libraries will be closed on Saturday. Charles County Public Schools has canceled all weekend activities. Meanwhile, public transport and outdoor Parks and recreation facilities in Calvert County will also be shuttered for the day.

Residents can sign up for local alerts at stmaryscountymd.gov/codered, and emergency information is also available through the Department of Emergency Services at (301) 475-4200 ext. 2123.

Wind speeds will likely hover between 20-30 mph, surging up to 50-60 mph. Pet owners face penalties of up to $1,000 or 30 days in jail if they fail to provide adequate animal protection until National Weather Service warnings are lifted.

Maryland’s Department of Transportation State Highway Administration also takes precautions such as cleaning drainage systems and inspecting generators. Residents are urged to avoid unnecessary travel. Extreme caution is advised for those who have to travel, including avoiding flooded roadways and downed power lines.

Rainfall is expected to measure between 2 to 4 inches, with localized amounts reaching up to 5 inches, likely causing isolated flooding. Power outages may also result from tropical storm-force wind gusts between 50 to 60 mph.

Local agencies, including the Charles County Sheriff’s Department and the Charles County Public Library, monitor the situation. Authorities continue to emphasize safety and preparedness. “Turn Around, Don’t Drown!” remains the flood safety mantra. Additional flood safety guidelines are available at weather.gov/safety/flood and Ready.gov.

In Chesapeake Beach, local authorities urge residents to finalize emergency preparations and heed evacuation orders. Several community events, including the BecomeOne Project walk, have been postponed due to the impending storm. Sandbags are available at a mapped location in Kellam’s field parking lot.

The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) has set specific wind warnings and restrictions for all MDTA bridges, including the Bay Bridge.

Due to safety concerns, the BecomeOne Project’s One More Light Suicide and Mental Health Awareness walk has been postponed.

Local authorities underline the critical importance of preparedness and caution, urging residents to stay tuned to official channels for the most current information.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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