MARYLAND – As Hurricane Florence moves closer to the east coast, the Maryland Department of Transportation/State Highway Administration is deploying maintenance forces throughout the state to begin preparations for the storm and its impacts. MDOT spokesman Charlie Gishler says crews will inspect, clean, and clear storm water ditches, drains and inlets to ensure adequate drainage. Crews from maintenance facilities are also evaluating all emergency response equipment such as high water signs, chain saws, chippers, loaders, and grading trucks. Additionally, crews are ensuring that all generators are fully topped off and functional in case of power outages. Motorists are encouraged to monitor the weather conditions, and if possible, avoid driving in any hazardous conditions.