United States: East Coast braced for tidal flooding that could be the worst since 2003

·2-min read

Parts of East Coast America could be hit with severe flooding, with forecasters predicting some states could see the worst tidal flooding in almost two decades.

Strong winds are pushing water into the Chesapeake Bay and Delaware Bay, moving water inland and flooding parts of Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey.

Flood warnings have been issued from Virginia to New Jersey, including for people in Washington DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia.

The storms could bring the area's worst flooding since Hurricane Isabel in 2003, the National Weather Service warned.

"One of the biggest tidal flood events of the past 10-20 years (possibly since Hurricane Isabel at some locales), is expected Friday & Saturday. Those along tidal shores should get ready for exceptional tidal inundation!" the weather service said in a tweet.

The governor of Maryland has issued a state of emergency in areas under flood warnings, while Baltimore's transportation department is distributing sandbags for residents.

"Even if you are accustomed to nuisance flooding, this is much more serious and has the potential to be much more damaging over the course of the next 24 hours," Governor Larry Hogan said on early Friday evening.

"We are taking this action to bring all necessary state resources to bear, and assist local jurisdictions in their response efforts."

The state of emergency declaration includes Baltimore City and the following counties: Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Calvert, Caroline, Cecil, Charles, Dorchester, Harford, Kent, Queen Anne's, Prince George's, Somerset, St. Mary's, Talbot, Wicomico and Worcester.

Washington is facing flooding from winds pushing water up from the Potomac River and also heavy rain.

The rainfall, by itself, was expected to cause "creeks and streams to rise through late (Friday) afternoon," the weather service said.

On Friday morning, water flooded streets near City Dock in downtown Annapolis, Maryland.

"The rain is coming in a lot right now," said Leslie Butler, who had visited Annapolis for the day with her children and stopped near City Dock during their visit.

"It's crazy high floodwaters. I've never seen this before."

The City of Annapolis Office of Emergency Management warned people to prepare for the possibility of extended road closures over the weekend.

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