UPDATE: 1.30 p.m., Oct. 3
WASHINGTON – The threat from Hurricane Joaquin has diminished and the steadiest rainfall is over.
There is little risk of major flooding across the Greater Washington D.C. area, but there will continue to be some coastal flooding in Anne-Arundel County as well as the flood prone areas along the Potomac in D.C., Arlington, Falls Church and Alexandria.
The biggest issue in many areas this afternoon will be the gusty winds, which could reach over 30 mph at times. Highs will be in the middle to upper 50s and it will feel even cooler with the stiff breeze. Tonight will remain cloudy and blustery with lows in the 40s and some spotty drizzle.
What to expect Saturday night:
Some drizzle, cloudy and windy
Winds: N 15-20, gusts up to 30+ mph
VDOT: Driving in the Rain
Governor Larry Hogan today signed an Executive Order declaring a state of
emergency in Maryland in anticipation of heavy rains, potential flooding, and
the possibility that Hurricane Joaquin may affect the state.
The Hogan administration has asked state agencies, including the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), to make preparations for the incoming storms.
Residents can go to MEMA’s website, mema.maryland.gov, for more flooding and hurricane preparedness information and can follow MEMA’s Twitter feed, @MDMEMA,
and Facebook page, www.facebook.com/MDMEMA, for up-to-date information.
RICHMOND – Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews are prepared and stand ready across the state to respond to any unsafe traveling conditions and damage resulting from another round of forecasted heavy rainfall and the possibility of impacts from Hurricane Joaquin.
Rain is expected to impact Virginia through Saturday. Hurricane Joaquin could impact Virginia on Sunday and Monday, depending on its track. VDOT is closely monitoring the statewide storm, with the
hardest hit areas expected to be along the coast in the Hampton Roads and Fredericksburg regions.
High winds combined with rain-soaked conditions are likely to weaken trees, causing downed trees and limbs to block roadways. Since heavy rains have already drenched the state, additional rain fall will tend to pond on roads, which is expected to worsen from the possible impacts of Hurricane Joaquin on Sunday.
Conditions change quickly. Motorists are encouraged to monitor weather reports and road conditions before traveling. Driving on area roadways through Sunday or Monday could be hazardous as a result of heavy rain and wind gusts. VDOT recommends drivers delay travel until unsafe weather conditions have passed.
What is happening Thursday across the state:
Elizabeth River Crossings (ERC) is prepared to shut the Midtown Tunnel if needed should tide levels reach potential flooding levels. ERC will test the tunnel gate at 10 tonight.
Merry Pointe and Sunnybank ferries are closed throughout the storm. Normal operations continue at the Jamestown Scotland Ferry.
Crews are repairing damaged roads from flooding that occurred this week in the Salem,
Staunton, Culpeper districts.
Nine roadways are washed out and VDOT is working on emergency repairs.
Early flooding has been reported in the Southampton County communities of Franklin
and Capron where rural roads often flood first.
Road clearing priorities:
Crews will first clear roads that provide access to hospitals and emergency facilities, followed by interstates and major primaries. Once those roads are cleared, they will focus on the secondary system.
While VDOT urges motorists to limit travel, if you are driving in bad
weather, keep the following in mind:
During storms with high winds:
Be aware of large vehicles such as tractor trailers and recreational vehicles. They are more susceptible to high winds and drivers may have difficulties staying in their lanes.
Keep a firm grip on the wheel in case the wind begins to move your vehicle.
The operators of the State Fair of Virginia are ending the agricultural attraction’s run because of the threat of severe weather.
The Doswell fair held at The Meadow Event Park will close Thursday and not re-open for the scheduled remainder of its run. The fair was to run through Sunday.
A message from Fairfax County Public Schools
"Dear FCPS Community,
We are closely monitoring the path of Hurricane Joaquin and any potential impact on our area. We will continue to do so through tonight and the weekend. As there is great uncertainty in the track of the storm, we encourage you to monitor weather reports and make any preparations if necessary.
There have been some cancellations and changes to sports and other events due to the heavy rain currently impacting our area. Please check with your school for the most recent status.
Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Administrators will meet Sunday evening to make decisions regarding FCPS operating status for Monday and an update will be provided Sunday evening. However, should conditions warrant, changes to FCPS operating status may be determined sooner.
For those who may use, or have students on twitter, please note that the only official Twitter source for FCPS operating status is @fcpsnews.
Thank you for your continued support of FCPS."
Sandbag Distribution to Continue Until Supplies are Depleted
Charles County government sand distribution continues for county residents who need them to protect property. Due to high demand, sandbags are no longer available. Residents are encouraged to purchase bags from a local home improvement store, and bring them to the sand distribution location at Laurel Springs Park (5940 Radio Station Road, La Plata). Residents should bring a shovel to fill bags. No shovels or other tools will be provided. Distribution is scheduled to continue until sand supply is depleted. If sand runs out prior to 8 p.m., distribution will cease until further notice.
The National Weather Service (NWS) is forecasting heavy rain throughout the end of this week for the state of Maryland. Rainfall is likely to continue at least through the weekend, with the potential of 5 to 10 inches of total precipitation throughout much of the state. Some areas will receive higher
amounts, which could produce flooding of rivers, streams, ponds, and low-lying areas.
The Department of Emergency Services encourages residents to prepare for potential flooding, and recommends that residents take the following precautionary actions:
Trains are set to run every 20 minutes on the Red Line, and every 25 minutes on all other lines except the Green Line, where normal weekend service is scheduled.
Metro says the weather may force some aboveground work to be called off, but no weather-related service changes are expected.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami says the Cuban government has issued a tropical storm warning for several provinces as Hurricane Joaquin barrels through the Bahamas with 130-mph (210 kph) winds.
On Thursday night, the storm was centered about 25 miles (45 kms) southeast of Clarence Town, Long Island, Bahamas, and about 75 miles (120 kms) south of San Salvador, Bahamas.
The storm was moving southwest at 5 mph (7kph).
The base in Hampton, Virginia will be closed to all non-mission essential personnel beginning at 9 a.m. The base’s leadership made the decision based on projected tidal surges and potential flooding.
The hospital on the base will remain open during the storm to maintain emergency care for mission-essential personnel and base residents.
On Thursday, about 40 aircraft and 100 personnel from Langley Air Force Base were relocated to Grissom Air Reserve Base, Indiana in advance of Hurricane Joaquin.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The National Park Service is closing turf fields and canceling events around the Washington area as the region prepares for heavy rainfall and the possible arrival of Hurricane Joaquin.
The park service says people wondering about specific events on Friday or over the weekend should reach out to organizers. Many events have already been canceled.