BALTIMORE—Warning that the storm could batter the East Coast with 80-mile-per-hour winds and heavy rain, Baltimore officials confirmed Friday that residents were preparing for Hurricane Joaquin by adding a second layer of plywood to the city’s shuttered small businesses. “A tropical storm as severe as this can cause considerable damage, so we’re urging residents to take precautionary measures by covering boarded-up windows and doors of vacant storefronts with an additional protective layer of plywood or plastic sheeting,” said city spokesman Jim D’Amico, adding that extra tarps should also be placed over the ones already covering any furniture or other large items that went unclaimed by creditors. “Emergency crews are working around the clock to provide further flood protection by adding sandbags to the mounds of debris and garbage that were already piled up outside these failed businesses. And, thankfully, most of these buildings had their utility services cut off months or years ago, so we’re way ahead of the game there.” D’Amico told reporters that the city’s evacuation efforts had been greatly aided by the fact that most of the population had long since fled from high-storm-risk areas due to urban blight.

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