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MD sends team to aid in Florence relief effort, opens in-state shelters

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan is sending the Maryland Helicopter Aquatic Rescue Team to North Carolina as part of the Tropical Storm Florence relief effort.  

The team is made up of two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters with eight crew members and three maintainers from the Maryland Army National Guard.  Helicopter search-and-rescue technicians from Baltimore, Harford, Howard and Montgomery counties are also being deployed.  They are set to leave on Sunday.  Tropical Storm Florence continues to inundate the region with heavy rains and unprecedented flooding. 

Meanwhile, the state of Maryland is opening two shelters to help evacuees from Tropical Storm Florence.  Governor Hogan said that the shelters will be pet-friendly and will support people who need a safe place to stay.  One shelter will be in College Park at the University of Maryland's Ritchie Coliseum.  The other shelter is at Chesapeake College's Health Professions and Athletics Center in Wye Mills. 

The former Hurricane Florence could have an impact on Maryland next week.  The National Weather Service says remnants of the hurricane could make their way up through the Western Maryland mountains by Monday night.  Under that scenario, rain and severe storms are possible, along with the potential for some flooding.  Coastal and tidal flooding are also possible this weekend.