Published on: Wednesday, September 12, 2018 City Manager & Staff Blog

Preparing for Hurricane Florence - Message from the City Manager

From Suzanne Ludlow, City Manager of Takoma Park

Suzanne Ludlow, City Manager

Dear Residents,

As Hurricane Florence continues to barrel towards the east coast, City staff are preparing for potential local impacts. Public Works crews have been conducting inlet checks, evaluating low lying areas, and ensuring that contract tree maintenance personnel are on hand to assist our staff if necessary. Over the next few days, you may also notice barricades being staged in areas prone to flooding so they can be more readily available if flooding occurs.

The storm is currently projected to impact areas further south than was anticipated up until this morning and then stall once inland. For Takoma Park, there is a lot of uncertainty about how much rain and wind we are likely to see, and when we might see it. Storm impacts may not affect Takoma Park until the beginning to middle of next week, but it will be raining off and on up through then anyway, as it has all summer. Because the ground is already so saturated, it’s likely that even a relatively small amount of additional rain will result in localized flooding . With just a small increase in wind, trees may come down causing damage and affecting power lines.

Despite the uncertainty – actually because of it! – it’s vital that residents be prepared. Restock your emergency preparedness kit to include food and water sufficient for at least three days, medications, a flashlight, batteries, cash, and first aid supplies. A good source of information on how to be prepared is online at Ready.Gov.

Regarding power outages:

  • Plan in advance to charge mobile devices
  • Keep fresh batteries available for flashlights, lanterns and battery powered radios
  • Have a plan if you need to leave your home
  • Call Pepco at 1-877-737-2662 or use their Mobile app
  • Keep freezers and refrigerators closed to preserve items
  • Use generators only outside in a well ventilated location
  • Let someone know from your trusted contacts that you are OK
  • Check on your neighbors to make sure they are OK

In the event of flooding:

  • DO NOT drive through high water (“Turn Around Don’t Drown”)
  • Have a plan if you need to leave your home
  • Be aware of electrical devices and potential of electrocution; water and electricity do not mix, disconnect items if flooding occurs in your home

To report weather related concerns such as downed trees or rising water, please contact the Takoma Park Police Department at 301-270-1100. If it is an emergency situation, call 911. Our Police Department and Public Works staff are prepared and will be monitoring and responding as necessary.

As always, we’ll post any weather-related schedule changes on the City’s website and through the Takoma Park Alert system.

Stay safe out there!

Suzanne Ludlow
City Manager
Phone: 301-891-7229