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Know when to evacuate? Before Hurricane Florence, learn the flood plains of Maryland on this new map – Baltimore Sun.

Know when to evacuate? Before Hurricane Florence, learn the flood plains of Maryland on this new map – Baltimore Sun.

While Maryland is preparing for a major hurricane to reach the southeast coast later this week, a new tool from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency will allow local residents to check if they live in a flood-prone area and find out if they can be evacuated. to become.

In June, MEMA created a new evacuation system with a color-coded card to distinguish between flood-sensitive zones and to help residents understand whether they should evacuate in the event of a hurricane.

On the map, the coastal areas of the state are divided into three zones – A, B and C – on the basis of the probability of serious flooding in those areas. Zone A areas, shown in red on the map, are most likely affected by flooding caused by tropical storms and low-grade hurricanes, while Zone B, shown in yellow, is affected by hurricane Category 3 and stronger. Those in zone C, depicted in blue, would be the least affected by flooding, but still run the risk of evacuation.

MEMA cooperates with local emergency services to determine which zones are most at risk during a hurricane and informs residents about evacuations. Officials of emergency relief management encouraged residents to "know your zone" in case evacuations become necessary.

The map can be useful if Hurricane Florence winds to the east coast. The hurricane was strengthened Monday to a category 4 storm and is expected to arrive by Friday.

Approximately 275,000 inhabitants live in one of the three zones according to MEMA. On the map residents can enter their addresses to see which, if present, the evacuation zone of the storms where they live. People living outside the designated zones are not expected to be evacuated due to hurricanes.

Sixteen counties in Maryland (Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Caroline, Calvert, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Prince George, Queen Anne's, Somerset, St. Mary's, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester) and three cities (Baltimore, Annapolis and Ocean City) participate in the program. The zones were determined on the basis of a study of hurricane evacuation in Maryland earlier this year.

Other states, including Virginia, Florida and New York, have similar zones that help emergency officers coordinate evacuation efforts.

More information is available at KnowYourZoneMd.com.

smeehan@baltsun.com

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