Emergency Operations Center Activated after 12” of Wet Snow Blankets Count
Annapolis (February 12, 2006) - County Executive Janet S. Owens this morning activated the Emergency Operations Center to respond to public needs that may result from the heavy, wet snow that fell overnight. Current reports indicate that approximately 12” of snow fell, resulting in widespread downed-trees and loss of power to 40,000 homes and businesses.
The Department of Public Works continues to plow and treat roads but has diverted plowing resources to tree-removal operations, particularly in communities in Millersville, Crownsville, Severn and Glen Burnie. County tree-removal crews are being supplemented by contractor services and all are working in direct cooperation with BG&E at this time to remove trees and downed-power lines in order to restore power and mobility.
“This storm brought down trees which have impacted more than 100 roads, primarily in the central part of the County. As a result, our normal plowing operation turned dramatically into a tree-removal operation in order make communities accessible to emergency equipment and BGE crews,” said County Executive Janet S. Owens. “This storm put an unprecedented strain on our resources but crews continue to work tirelessly this morning to clear the roads.”
Residents should contact the Emergency Operations Center at (410) 222-8040 for assistance with non-life threatening concerns. As always, residents should call 911 for emergencies.
In addition, the Department of Public Works continues to staff the Bureau of Highways Storm Center where the public may report downed trees on County roads and unsafe road conditions by calling (410) 222-4040. Residents are still encouraged to utilize the on-line service request system by visiting the Snow Information Page.
The public is still reminded to utilize off-street parking where possible in order to make the plowing operation as safe as possible. Snow removal operations are carried out in a systematic manner that serves the greater need first. Main roads, collector routes, steep slopes, and sharp curves are the first priority, followed by residential streets, and then dead-ends and cul-de-sacs. Residents should become familiar with the difference between bare pavement and passable road conditions. Passable means that after the plow has been through, the road may still be snow-packed, there may only be one travel lane open, and all-weather tires are a must. Plow operators work tirelessly in a storm to ensure that roads are passable.
DPW is responsible for maintaining more than 1,750 miles of roadway during winter. There are approximately 300 pieces of snow removal equipment on-hand, including dump trucks and loaders. Of those vehicles, approximately 80 are equipped with GPS allowing better communication and planning during weather emergencies. In addition to County equipment, DPW has contracted with the business community to have on-hand approximately 138 pieces of equipment with operators. The Department maintains 11,650 tons of salt and started the storm at full capacity.
Residents should visit the Snow Information Page to learn more about snow removal and the on-line snow service request system. Residents are encouraged to learn the level of service for their street and should take advantage of this quick and easy method to contact the Bureau of Highways if this level of service has not been met.