- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 28, 2012

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley urged people in his state to heed the warnings and finish taking precautions for the massive “killer storm” formed by Hurricane Sandy that is barrelling toward the Mid-Atlantic.

“It’s very, very important that everybody be vigilant,” Mr. O’Malley said at a Sunday afternoon press conference from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Reiterstown, Md. “Be prepared for your own family with flashlights, radio, things you will need for extended days of a power outage for many, many Maryland families.”

Mr. O’Malley said President Obama has already pre-declared the state a disaster area.

Because of the threatening megastorm that is forecast to impact the D.C. area beginning Sunday night, Mr. O’Malley cancelled previously scheduled early voting on Monday. Mr. O’Malley said his office will make an announcement later on early voting scheduled for Tuesday.

Hundreds of Marylanders lined up across the state to cast their ballots on Saturday and Sunday, and Mr. O’Malley said it was important to keep that trend going.

“We would like to keep the full battery of early vote days,” Mr. O’Malley said. “We anticipate rescheduling Monday’s day of early voting for Friday.”

Nonessential state employees are on liberal leave on Monday, Mr. O’Malley said. Additionally, several local public schools will be closed.

Some low-lying areas of the state, including areas along the shore and downtown Ocean City, have already started mandatory or optional evacuations, Mr. O’Malley said.

Additionally, in order to keep the peace and help with recovery efforts, Mr. O’Malley said he has mobilized 450 National Guard troops. They will have 500 Humvees and 300 utility vehicles, some with generators, at their disposal.

The Democratic governor said the most important thing that Marylanders can do is heed common sense rules and watch out for one another.

“This is a very large and dynamic and unprecedented sort of weather event,” Mr. O’Malley said.

• Megan Poinski can be reached at mpoinski@washingtontimes.com.

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