A dozen health centers in Maryland and the District of Columbia were open for business Sunday after the city of Baltimore declared a state of emergency and the federal government stepped in to help, the governor said.
The announcement was made at a news conference.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said the emergency declaration was a first step in the city’s effort to provide care to the people of Baltimore, and she urged residents to seek care.
“We are here to serve our citizens and our residents and that includes the people who live in our neighborhoods,” she said.
She said the declaration was necessary because the city needs to keep tabs on how much its emergency response is costing and how it’s helping the city recover.
“It’s about finding the right balance, balancing resources, between those who have to take care of themselves and those who are trying to care for those in need,” Pugh told reporters.
She also said the city has asked federal officials for help in helping the wounded.
Pugh says it will be up to federal authorities to decide whether to expand the state’s emergency declaration to include Baltimore.
Baltimore’s declaration comes after the first of two major storms, the second of which moved through the region in a week.
The first storm, which hit in early October, killed at least 15 people in New York, killed more than 200 in Florida and damaged more than 500,000 homes.
The second storm, named Harvey, has made landfall in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia and Alabama.
The storm was expected to continue into the weekend.
It is expected to be the worst storm to hit the U.S. in decades, and it is expected hit Maryland and neighboring Virginia and North Carolina, with some parts of North Carolina also expected to see heavy rain.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will provide up to $20 million in disaster assistance to help people and businesses in Baltimore and the surrounding areas.
Federal officials said the storm was “unprecedented” and could potentially be deadly.
“The storm is likely to bring catastrophic flooding and mudslides, especially in the central part of Baltimore and southeastern Maryland, as well as parts of Virginia, Tennessee and Florida,” the agency said.
“There is a high probability of severe storm surge that could affect parts of the city.”
The federal government will also provide grants to those who need it, including flood insurance and stormwater mitigation assistance, the agency added.
The National Weather Service issued a flash flood watch for Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina and North Dakota for the entire weekend.
A storm warning was issued for parts of Maryland and Virginia.
Pough said that “at this time” Baltimore has not received the full number of people who have been displaced from the storm, but she expects to receive more than 2,000 by Sunday afternoon.
The state is expecting to see some of the worst flooding of any city in the U, but the storm is expected in a different way, the mayor said.
That means that in some places, including parts of New York and New Jersey, the water is expected not to be very deep.
“I think you’re going to see water level in some areas be in the 30s,” Pough told reporters Sunday afternoon, “but not in other places.”
Officials have said that the state is getting its water supplies from a river in the region, and that water is flowing freely.
In the meantime, the city is working with the city and the National Guard to rebuild and reopen schools, hospitals and other facilities.
Pouches of water were seen coming into some of those facilities Sunday afternoon as people came to the water.
Pouch water was still coming into many of the facilities.
“These are things that you would think the city would be well-prepared for, but they have not been prepared at all,” Pouch said.
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