DPW Urges Residents to Prepare for Tropical Storm Isaias

| August 3, 2020 | 0 Comments

Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) press release: 

Baltimore City Department of Public Works (DPW) Acting Director Matthew W. Garbark asks residents to prepare now for the heavy rains and potential flooding associated with Tropical Storm Isaias that is expected to hit the Baltimore area early Tuesday, Aug. 4.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has reported that a Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for much of central and southern Maryland. Heavy rain, flooding, wind damage, and tidal flooding are all threats to the area, according to the NWS report.

Baltimore residents are advised to follow the storm’s progress in the local media. Residents are also advised to be especially mindful that power outages caused by storms can lead to water pumping interruptions, and to always have bottled water on hand.

Preparing for the Storm
Residents should be aware of possible rising water along streams and in low-lying areas. Blocked storm drains may increase the potential for flooding at these locations. Residents may consider moving valuables from a lower level to a higher floor.

In addition, residents are urged to make sure that their sump pumps are operational, and to report wet-weather sewage backups to 311.

DPW’s Bureau of Solid Waste crews are working to ensure that trash and debris in public rights of way and streets are removed.

Drivers are cautioned to turn around when they encounter flooded roadways.

Clear Storm Drains
City crews have taken preparedness actions to clear storm drains before the expected strong winds and heavy rains arrive. If you are able to clear storm drains around your property of debris, please do so to prevent flooding. Leaves and litter are a source of storm inlet blockage. Sweeping leaves and trash from sidewalks, alleys and gutters will keep this material out of the drains. Please do not park on top of storm inlets.


  1. If the drain is clogged, call 311 now to have a crew address it.
  2. If it is just trash on top of the grate – please sweep and bag it.
  3. Trash and debris along curbs, alleys, and sidewalks will wash into the storm drain and may cause localized flooding. Please clean that now.


Use 311 to submit Storm-related Problems
If you experience a basement backup of sewage, please call 311 to report it immediately. (For additional information on responding to sewage backups, please review the following DPW documents: Handling Sewage BackupsUnderstanding and Preventing Sewage Backups, and the Sewage Backup Expedited Reimbursement Program.)

  • For power outages and downed power lines please call BGE at 877-778-2222.
  • For trees that are blocking roadways, please call 311.
  • For emergencies only, please call 911.

City Distribution of Sandbags
The Department of Transportation will have sandbags available for all City residents. The sandbags will be available to City residents on Monday, August 3, 2020 beginning at 9:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the intersection of Thames and Broadway. Residents must show proof of identification and will be limited to 10 sandbags each on a first-come, first-served basis, weather and supplies permitting. Residents must fill their own sandbags. After the storm, citizens should place unwanted sandbags in front of their homes near the curb and call 311 for pick-up. Residents should not dump sand into storm drains, gutters, trash or waterways.

BMORE ALERT is an emergency notification system used by the City of Baltimore to send emergency alerts to residents, businesses and visitors across the City. Examples of emergency alerts include, but are not limited to:

  • Severe weather, including winter storms and hurricanes
  • Extensive flooding
  • Hazardous chemical releases
  • Infectious disease outbreaks
  • Widespread power outages
  • Evacuations

Learn more about BMORE ALERT: https://emergency.baltimorecity.gov/bmore-alert.

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News releases from various sources around South Baltimore.
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