Annapolis residents should expect heavy rain, high winds and widespread power outages as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall sometime Monday night.
“As the weather conditions deteriorate, I’m asking Annapolis citizens to stay off the roads and shelter-in-place,” Mayor Josh Cohen said in a press release. “The weather conditions are dangerous and everyone should be in a dry safe environment, out of the elements."
The city is under a high wind warning. Annapolis could experience sustained winds of 40 miles per hour and gusts up to 70 miles per hour by early Tuesday morning.
A flood watch remains in effect for Annapolis through Tuesday evening with rainfall predicted to be between five to 10 inches. Excessive rainfall could cause creeks and streams to rise quickly and flood low lying areas, according to the release. Moderate to major flooding is likely—especially on smaller creeks and streams.
If residents in these areas are in need of emergency shelther, the Transportation Department will drive anyone to the county evacuation shelter—located at Annapolis High School. Call 410-260-2211 to schedule a pickup.
Annapolis officials closed the harbor on Monday as a precaution after the U.S. Coast Guard closed its own channels for ships approaching Baltimore.
City Dock has yet to flood, but Rhonda Wardlaw, a city spokesperson, said the area could experience some flooding when high tide rolls in at 5 p.m. on Monday.
The Annapolis Harbormaster's office predicts the worst surge to occur around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, said Patrick Lee, a crewman in the Harbormaster's office. Computer models have predicted the water level to rise about four feet.
That would submerge the parking lot on City Dock, and it could close portions of Compromise Street. However, four feet would fall short of flooding levels reached during Hurricane Isabel in 2003 when the water level rose by 7.5 feet, Lee said.
The Annapolis dam—which was drained on Sunday in anticipation of Hurricane Sandy—is weathering the storm just fine, Wardlaw said.
"We have a consent order from the state of Maryland to do some repairs out there, so there is some danger that if the water got towards the top of the dam or over the top of the dam that it may fail," said David Jarrell, the director of public works.
The mayor has also closed city offices, transportation and canceled trash collection for Monday and Tuesday. St. Anne's, the Key School and Anne Arundel County Public Schools have all canceled classes for Tuesday.
For a complete list of what is closed or canceled in Annapolis, click here.
The Annapolis Police Department has requested assistance from Maryland's National Guard in case "there is an enhanced need for mobility due to the intensity of the storm," according to the release.
All four city garages are still open and free of charge to Annapolis residents. As of noon on Monday, Knighton Garage at the corner of Colonial Avenue and West Street was full.