Town of Ocean City message:
Ocean City Initiates Phase Three of Emergency Plan
Ocean City Emergency Management officials will initiate phase three of the hurricane action plan in preparation for Hurricane Irene. Phase three will go into effect at midnight tonight.
Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan has signed a proclamation declaring a local State of Emergency.
All persons other than identified emergency personnel are ordered to evacuate. Visitors are asked to return to their principle residences. Ocean City residents are asked to seek shelter elsewhere.
Utilizing the authority under a local State of Emergency, the Mayor is banning the sale of all alcohol in Ocean City and requests that all businesses close beginning at midnight.
All incoming traffic to Ocean City, Maryland, will be limited to emergency personnel. No other vehicles will be permitted entry to the island, except by approved authority (Mayor, City Manager and Emergency Services Director).
Ocean City Municipal Transportation System is providing transportation for special needs individuals. For special needs transportation, please call Ocean City Transportation at 410-723-1606. International student workforce evacuation continues and will be completed by tomorrow morning.
The Ocean City Government Cable Access Channel 4, the Ocean City website www.ocmdemergency.com, recorded emergency management line, 410-723-6666 and Ocean City advisory radio station 1670 AM will remain operational for further advisories.
Ocean City is expected to receive a significant impact from Hurricane Irene.
Easterly gale force winds should start affecting the area on Saturday, August 27 at 5 p.m. with hurricane-force winds arriving around 4 a.m. and lasting for a period of eight hours. The highest wind speeds from Hurricane Irene should occur near 9 a.m. when top sustained winds, from the north, could reach 90 mph with gusts near 120 mph. Winds should decrease below hurricane force shortly thereafter.
Sustained winds will fall below gale force after 3 p.m. and generally be from the north during this period of decreasing winds. Expect gusts above gale force level for several more hours thereafter.
The total rainfall for the Ocean City area over the next three days is forecast to be 9.5 inches. This can vary significantly as tropical storm and hurricane rainfall is very difficult to predict.
Storm surge is expected to be six-feet above normal high tide cycles resulting in significant flooding in low-lying areas.
-Town of Ocean City.