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County’s Emergency Task Force Team Deployed to Carolinas as Hurricane Florence Projected To Spare Maryland

80 personnel, including a swift water rescue team, departed from Rockville early Wednesday

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Scattered showers, thunderstorms and possible flooding due to rainfall are the biggest threats to Montgomery County later this week from Hurricane Florence, according to the National Weather Service.

NWS meteorologist Dan Hoffmann said Maryland seems to be out of the direct path of the category 4 hurricane for now.

As of Wednesday morning, it appears the hurricane will stay south of the state and veer west once it makes landfall along the North Carolina coast late Thursday or early Friday, Hoffmann said.

“The probability is pretty low for it to be a catastrophic event for Montgomery County,” Hoffmann said. “It would have to shift its course a little bit” for that to happen. Heavy rain fall could hit the county next week, due to the remnants of the storm system moving north.

As a result, the Maryland Emergency Management Agency, in conjunction with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, has deployed the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Services’ Urban Search and Rescue Team to provide support in the Carolinas, according to MCFRS officials.

On Wednesday morning, an 80-person team, including swift water rescue personnel, left for South Carolina for a period of 10 to 14 days.

Locally, Pepco and the Maryland Department of Transportation are taking steps to handle any problems resulting from bad weather produced by the hurricane.

“Employees and local contractors have inspected equipment, reviewed procedures and assembled staffing plans to ensure around-the-clock support to respond to any potential impacts from the storm,” according to a statement issued Tuesday by Pepco. “In addition to more than 200 internal line workers, Pepco has an additional 404 contractors and 153 tree-trimming personnel as well as crews from its sister utilities available to assist in any needed restoration effort.”

State highway officials are reminding motorists to stay away from flooded areas and be aware of falling trees and branches. Maintenance crews have also been deployed throughout the area to check on equipment and inspect storm water ditches and water inlets.

“This is a major storm system, and it will likely cause significant damage and disruption to the state highway system,” state highway administrator Gregory Slater said in a release. “Maryland has received above-normal rainfall throughout summer and the ground is saturated so additional rain is likely to run-off rapidly.”

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