According to the National Weather Service, major flooding occurred Friday as a result of a storm that moved through the Mid-Atlantic region to parts Northeast.
Heavy rain during high tides could lead to “astronomical surges” of ocean water, said Matt Doody, a National Weather Service forecaster in the agency’s Eastern Regional Operations Center in Bohemia, N.Y.
Maryland, Baltimore and the surrounding areas could see some of most significant tidal floods in nearly two decades. the Weather Service said, adding that residents should be prepared for “exceptional tidal inundation.” Some regions could see more flooding than in 2003, when Hurricane Isabel inundated the Mid-Atlantic.
Mr. Doody stated that the storm system could also bring unprecedented high water levels to the Delaware Bay and Chesapeake Bays. He said that the storm’s slow speed is what makes it so vulnerable to flooding.
Forecasters in Delaware Bay and Chesapeake said water level records could differ from one area to the next, but that records had been set by hurricanes and other named storms like Hurricanes Sandy, Ida, and Isabel.
Friday’s unnamed storm prompted heavy rain warnings and coastal flooding from Virginia to parts New Jersey. Excessive rain warnings were posted for Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., West Virginia, Maryland, and most of Maryland.
Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland declared a state of emergency for Baltimore and several counties, saying the storm had the potential to be “much more serious” than previous flooding.
A statement from the governor’s office said the state closed several campgrounds and evacuated campers. It added that the Maryland State Police had responded to 119 crashes, 16 “roadside hazards” and 27 disabled or unattended vehicles.
The rain in the Baltimore and Washington area was “winding down” as of around 8 p.m. Friday, said Ray Martin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. But, he added, “tidal flooding is pretty bad and that’s going to continue at least through tonight and into tomorrow.”
Forecasters say the rain will spread northeastward to New England on Saturday afternoon. However, there is a slight chance of rain falling in certain areas.
“Flooding may become severe enough to cause some structural damage along with widespread roadway flooding near tidal waterways,” the National Weather Service
Delaware has been preparing to storm for several days, A.J. Schall director of Delaware’s Emergency Management Agency, said on Friday.
Light flooding from high tides is a frequent problem in many coastal areas of the state. He expressed concern that the slow-moving storm could cause flooding to worsen as it would flood the state between 5 and 9 p.m.
“Where the normal runoff would go is now being held up by the high tides,” Mr. Schall
The Delaware River could see water levels of 11.5 feet at 10 p.m. according to a National Weather Service gaugeBurlington, N.J. is near the Delaware border and parts of Pennsylvania.
The National Weather Service warned that numerous roads could become impassable and that “some neighborhoods may be isolated” as a result of the flooding.
Officials said that although no roads have been closed in Delaware, they expect to close them later on Friday. Since Wednesday, counties have been warning residents to move their cars to higher ground. Mr. Schall stated.
By the first high tide of the afternoon on Friday in Washington, D.C., workers at the city’s fish market had to take a small boat to leave, according to a video on Twitter.
Brandon M. Scott (the mayor of Baltimore) stated that flooding had already begun along Baltimore’s waterfront. asked residents to move their cars to higher ground.The city was founded in handing out sandbagsResidents will be notified on Friday morning.
Annapolis, Maryland, was already experiencing these kinds of events. flooding in dock parking lotsFriday, at 9 a.m. Alexandria, Va. was also giving out sandbags, with a limit to five bags per address according to a statement from the city.
Flooding can be a complex phenomenon, with many causes including land development and ground conditions.
Although it is difficult to determine all the factors that contribute to a flood event, climate change is a key component. It is already causing more heavy rainfall in many storms and is increasing the importance of this mix. A warmer atmosphere holds more water and releases it more often, in the form of rain and heavy winter snowpack.
The incidence of high-tide flooding within the Mid-Atlantic increased by six times between 2000 and 2015. This is an increase of three days on average per year, compared to three in 2000. according to a 2018 NOAA report.
The report shows that high-tide flooding has been steadily increasing in areas mostly along the coasts of North and Southeast Atlantic, and the Gulf of Mexico. According to the report, high-tide flooding will continue to occur in coastal cities every other day for the next 80 years.