Army Corps Baltimore District prepares for Florence, and potential for flooding throughout the region

Published Sept. 13, 2018
BALTIMORE - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District is tracking Hurricane Florence and working in coordination with federal, state and local emergency management counterparts throughout the region, including particularly in Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Washington D.C., and West Virginia, to prepare to respond to the effects of this storm. 

"Baltimore District’s professionals are fully engaged in preparing for potential impacts from Hurricane Florence and its aftermath both in our local area of operations as well as preparing to assist other areas where the storm is having greater impacts,” said Baltimore District Chief of Emergency Management Dorie Murphy.

Within Baltimore District’s area of operations, its network of dams throughout the Potomac River basin in Maryland and the Susquehanna River Watershed in Pennsylvania up to south central New York are already reducing flood risks, with several dams already holding back floodwaters from downstream associated with heavy rains from remnants of Tropical Storm Gordon.

View up-to-date reservoir data here:

Baltimore District’s debris vessels that regularly patrol Baltimore Harbor and the Anacostia and Potomac Rivers in Washington, D.C. for large drift and debris in the waters that could be hazardous to navigation are prepared for increases in large debris from both Gordon remnants and Florence. 

Baltimore District personnel remain in contact with the National Park Service (NPS) who is responsible for installing the 17th Street post and panel closure structure that is part of the Potomac Park Levee System in the District of Columbia, should it be determined it needs to be installed. This closure structure and levee system, built and regulated by the Army Corps and operated and maintained by NPS, reduces risk to human safety and critical infrastructure downtown to include the Federal Triangle from flooding of the Potomac River, including storm surge. 

Baltimore District has received a sandbag filling machine from its Louisville District staged in northern Virginia to assist with local floodfighting preparations if needed.

The District has already deployed a debris management expert to Richmond, Virginia in anticipation of the potential for a large debris mission in Virginia in the wake Hurricane Florence. When damage and debris are so extensive that local and state capabilities are exceeded, FEMA can assign the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a mission to provide debris management assistance. Baltimore District’s Debris Planning and Response Team is one of seven specially trained Corps debris teams across the country and its additional members are on alert for deployment if the need should arise. 

Baltimore District’s emergency response vehicles, including Deployable Tactical Operations Systems and Mobile Communications Vehicle can deploy anywhere in the country and are on alert. They have been pre-staged in northern Virginia in the event they are called upon to support emergency response activities.
Chris Gardner
410-375-4565 (cell)

Release no. 18-062