County Prepares for Winter Weather
|Residents Encouraged to Make Preparations Too|
Annapolis (February 12, 2007)- County Executive John Leopold announced today that the Department of Public Works (DPW) plans to mobilize tonight at midnight in response to a winter forecast that includes several inches of snow, sleet, freezing rain, and the potential for downed-power lines.
Crews for the Department of Public Works will begin 12 hour shifts at 12:00 a.m. Tuesday morning to systematically plow and treat more than 1700 miles of roads. In addition, salt supplies are at near capacity levels putting Anne Arundel County in a solid position to deal with ice-covered roads.
The storm is being closely monitored by the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Department of Public Works. While no decision to activate either the EOC or the Bureau of Highways Storm Center has been made at this time, a recommendation to County Executive Leopold will be made as the path of the storm becomes evident.
Residents are encouraged to take this time to prepare for the storm and possible power outages by having a battery operated radio and fresh batteries on-hand as well as other essential supplies.
If the DPW, Bureau of Highways Storm Center is activated, residents are encouraged to use the on-line snow service request system to determine the level of snow removal service they can expect for their type of road. If the Department has not met the published level of service for their road, residents may submit an on-line service request. While staff at the Bureau of Highways’ Storm Center is available to help residents by phone 24 hours a day during storms with snow accumulation greater than 4” or during severe ice storms, the web site provides an alternative, efficient means of communication.
Residents are urged to help DPW staff by utilizing off-street parking when snow is predicted If drivers find that the road is not safe due to on-street parking, service to the entire road could be delayed until smaller equipment becomes available.
Residents are also reminded that 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.
In-house and contract resources have been pooled giving DPW access to approximately 300 pieces of equipment, a significant portion of which have de-icing and snow removal capabilities. Of those vehicles, approximately 80 are equipped with GPS allowing better communication and planning during weather emergencies. The Department maintains 11,650 tons of salt and supplies remain at near capacity levels at this time.
Residents should visit the on-line snow service request system. Residents are encouraged to become familiar with the level of service for their street and should take advantage of this quick and easy method to contact DPW if the published level of service has not been met. For storms with accumulations of less than 4”, residents may also contact their local Bureau of Highway’s Road District office by telephone as follows: Northern (410) 222-6120; Central (410) 222-7940; and Southern (410) 222-1933.