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County Executive John R. Leopold Assures Citizens that the County is Prepared for Winter Weather

Annapolis (December 4, 2007) - In preparation for the winter season, Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold reminds citizens to prepare now for approaching winter weather and assures everyone that the Department of Public Works is prepared to handle winter weather throughout the season. DPW employees will work diligently to ensure safe travel on all County-maintained roads.

"Anne Arundel County is well-prepared for inclement weather and emergencies. We have taken every measure to ensure the safety of county residents and the uninterrupted delivery of essential county services during an emergency. I hope citizens will take similar precautions in preparing for winter weather and I encourage them to take the time to help friends, family, or neighbors who may need assistance, as well," Mr. Leopold said.

The Department of Public Works is tracking a winter weather event which is forecast to reach Anne Arundel County on Wednesday. Current predictions indicate that snowfall could accumulate up to 3", with most of the accumulation on grassy surfaces according to the National Weather Service’s Hazardous Weather Outlook. Fluctuations in snowfall rates may allow for times of accumulation on some roadways so winter weather driving precautions should be observed:

  • Reduce speed
  • Increase the distance between you and the car ahead
  • Remember, bridges freeze before roads
  • Clear all snow from hood, roof, and all windows.

During the Annual Snow Show held at Quiet Waters Park on October 30, 2007, crews demonstrated their readiness by operating trucks in competitions using essential skills needed for plowing County roads. The entire fleet of County-owned snow removal vehicles was also on display, in October, for a safety and preparedness check.

Final arrangements for staffing have been made at the DPW Road Operations Storm Center. When necessary, clerical and administrative staff will be on-call for 12-hour shifts during snowstorms with accumulations of 4" or more and also during severe ice storms. The Storm Center will field calls from the public requesting assistance with snow removal questions. The

Storm Center can be reached at (410)-222-4040 or for more information on service parameters, or to request service go to the Snow Information page.

For this weather event, residents should call their local Bureau of Highways Road District for assistance with County-maintained roads and storm drains.

  • Northern District (410) 222-6120
  • Central District (410) 222-7940
  • Southern District (410) 222-1933

The Department of Public Works does not maintain roads with a route number. For assistance on these roads, contact the state Highway Administration at (410) 841-1002.

The public may call the County Office of Emergency Management at (410) 222-0600 during severe winter weather for informational assistance and non-emergency related matters. For bona fide emergencies (fire, police, ambulance) the public must call 911.

In order to best serve the public and keep roads safe for vehicular travel during winter weather events, residents are encouraged to take the following actions:

  • Park all vehicles in a driveway whenever possible. If off-street parking is not available, please work with your neighbors to park all vehicles on one side of the road only. This is especially important on hills, dead-ends and cul-de-sacs.
  • Children should be cautioned to stay clear of plows and other heavy equipment.
  • Clearing of sidewalks and removal of ice is the responsibility of each resident. Not only is this the neighborly thing to do, but often the sidewalks are approved school walking routes that should be cleared for the safety of students.
  • Remove all recycling containers, trashcans, and other obstacles from the street.
  • Always stockpile shoveled snow on your property instead of piling it up in the street. Placing snow in the street when shoveling driveways and walkways could contribute to a greater amount of snow being pushed toward your property as the plow moves down the street.
  • Use patience - plowing operations are prioritized to get motorists moving as quickly as possible. Main roads and school bus routes, as well as steep hills and severe curves in communities are plowed first.
  • Finally, don’t venture out in extreme winter weather unless you absolutely have to do so. Unnecessary traffic and disabled vehicles only create more obstacles for plows and can delay complete service of roads.

This year, the Department of Public Works has more than 200 trucks, including on-call snow contractors, available for plowing and salting County roads. More than 300 employees representing several agencies of County Government will be available on rotating shifts to help with snow and ice control during a large winter storm event.

The Office of Emergency Management advises that citizens can minimize their risk of injury or property damage from winter storms by taking the following precautions:

  • Have vehicles properly winterized and equipped with snow tires or chains. Carry a "survival kit" in your vehicle consisting of blankets, candles, matches, non-perishable foods, drinking water, protective clothing, sand (or other traction material) and a shovel. Eliminate all non-essential travel during storms. Maintain a full tank of gas if travel during adverse weather is absolutely necessary.
  • Check for the proper operation of home emergency equipment such as battery-operated radios, flashlights, emergency heating sources, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers. Have furnaces, wood burning stoves and fireplaces checked for safe operation and have chimneys cleaned. Always dispose of fireplace ashes in an approved metal container, not in a plastic or paper bag or a container that has not been approved.
  • Store some non-perishable foods for use in emergencies and keep an adequate supply of medications and baby supplies on hand, if needed.
  • Plan precautions to prevent water pipes from freezing during periods of intense cold, such as proper insulation of pipes or draining water from exposed pipes. As a last resort, maintain minimum water flow to prevent freezing.
  • Never run gas-operated equipment such has generators inside a structure. Even a garage with the door open may not be adequately ventilated.
  • Wear proper clothing for weather conditions. Several layers of loose fitting, warm clothing is better than one thick garment. Wear hats and mittens or gloves when exposed to the cold.
  • Citizens with medical conditions should maintain an adequate supply of essential medications.
  • Pace physical activity such as snow shoveling or pushing cars. Regardless of age or physical condition, avoid over-exertion. Elderly persons should be cautious in attempting snow removal.

Be alert to storm WATCHES or WARNINGS issued by the National Weather Service and broadcast by local radio and television stations.

Residents with specific questions on winter storm preparedness should contact the Office of Emergency Management at (410) 222-0600.

 

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Anne Arundel County, Maryland. 44 Calvert Street, Annapolis, Maryland 21401 | Tele: (410) 222-7000