Gov. Martin O’Malley said Marylanders will die as Hurricane Sandy moves through the state.
“The days ahead are going to be very difficult,” he said in a press conference at Maryland Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Reisterstown Monday morning. “There will be people who will die and are killed in the storm.”
He urged residents to stay off the roads and stay inside for the next 24 to 36 hours.
High winds are anticipated for the Baltimore-Washington area by the early afternoon, O’Malley said. He expects power outages to start this afternoon and this evening.
“There will be many trees that will go down and there will be many power lines that will go down,” he said.
The storm has intensified in the past 12 hours, the governor said.
“She’s going to sit on top of Maryland and beat on Maryland for 24 to 36 hours,” he said.
The tidal surge that was thought to be minor will be major as winds push water into the Chesapeake Bay. Tributaries of the bay will flood when the winds combine with the falling rain, and the governor anticipates having to close the Bay Bridge, he said.
“We’ll see overflows in ways we haven’t seen since Hurricane Gloria, or even Hurricane Agnes,” O’Malley said, referring to storms in 1985 and 1972, respectively.
Twenty-three shelters are open and activated, but the governor reminded Marylanders these shelters are for residents who will likely be displaced by the storm.
As the storm moves north, O’Malley is concerned about stress on the Conowingo Dam and tributaries into the Susquehanna, and said that the sediment being pumped into the Chesapeake Bay could become a long-term environmental concern.