WASHINGTON, Sept. 9, 2011 – The Maryland National Guard has activated 25 soldiers to assist in the response to heavy flooding in parts of the state caused by Tropical Storm Lee’s heavy rains, according to officials.
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley last night amended his order for the state of emergency declared for Hurricane Irene to include the flooding from Lee. The Guard members were activated at the request of the state’s Emergency Management Agency and at the direction of Army Maj. Gen. James A. Adkins, the adjutant general of Maryland.
„Our soldiers and airmen are ready and well trained and equipped to respond to a variety of requests, from transportation with Humvees, five-ton trucks, helicopters and other aircraft,“ Adkins said. „We have trained with our local first responders and emergency service personnel and have resources to be available across the state.“
The remnants of Tropical Storm Lee deposited a large amount of rainfall into the Chesapeake Bay watershed over the past three days, officials said. Consequently, the ground in some areas has reached saturation point, with many local rivers and tributaries overflowing their banks. Numerous flash floods have been reported to date, as has street and road flooding in the Washington-Baltimore region.
The declaration activates the Maryland National Guard and allows state emergency operation centers for local jurisdictions to access state resources when the need extends beyond their capabilities.
The Guardsmen are on standby in designated armories across Maryland and are ready to support local first responders if needed. The Guard has so far responded to requests from Cecil, Harford and Charles Counties.
Floodwaters are expected to continue to rise along the Susquehanna River and all areas downstream of the Conowingo Dam, officials said. Havre d Grace and Port Deposit, as well as Perryville, are reporting flooding.
U.S. Department of Defense
Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Public Affairs)