State Roundup, September 11, 2017

IS MARYLAND PREPARED? Maryland has done extensive planning, including infrastructure improvements that focus on bolstering natural storm defenses to better absorb tidal surges and rainfall runoff, but there is widespread consensus among state officials and meteorologists that a massive hurricane like Harvey or Irma could overwhelm emergency services, JF Meils reports for Capital News Service.

MARYLAND & THE HURRICANES: After helping scores of victims of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, a team of Maryland first responders was on its way home this week when members got a call from the Federal Emergency Management Agency just as they crossed into Virginia. Talia Richman of the Sun writes that the agency wanted to know “where they were, if they were available and whether they were willing to deploy to support Hurricane Irma activities,” said Montgomery County Fire Chief Scott Goldstein.

PURPLE LINE TREE CUTTING: A federal judge has said he will wait until at least Sept. 19 to decide whether to prohibit a Maryland state contractor from cutting down mature trees on the Georgetown Branch Trail until a lawsuit opposing the Purple Line’s construction is resolved, writes Katherine Shaver for the Post.

PURPLE LINE’s UNPLANNED PLANS: The light-rail Purple Line is designed to help commuters leave behind sluggish, unreliable buses and, for the first time, take a train directly between Maryland suburbs without having to ride Metro through the heart of Washington. If all goes according to plan, passengers will step aboard in about five years. But not much on the Purple Line project has gone according to plan, Katherine Shaver of the Post reports.