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County Executive John R. Leopold Assures Citizens that the County is Prepared for winter Weather and Activates Emergency Operations Center
Annapolis (February 21, 2008) - In anticipation of a wintry mix during the morning rush hour and throughout the day tomorrow, Anne Arundel County Executive John R. Leopold reminds citizens to prepare now for winter weather and assures everyone that the Department of Public Works (DPW) is prepared. 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 Office of Emergency Management (OEM) and the DPW are tracking a winter weather event which is forecasted to reach Anne Arundel County tonight with overnight snow, sleet, and freezing rain possible. Forecasts call for 1-2" of snow overnight changing to sleet in the early morning hours. Freezing rain will likely continue throughout the day Friday and overnight into Saturday.
Director of the OEM, Captain Thomas Wilson,will partially activate the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at 4:00 a.m., if necessary. Representatives from Police, Fire, Recreation and Parks, Aging and Disabilities, and DPW will be in place prior to rush hour and the inclement weather predicted. The EOC will remain staffed through the evening rush hour, depending on the circumstances.
Such a wintry mix could cause driving conditions to become dangerous, 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.
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
DPW 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.
• 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 a safety issue, 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 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.
The DPW 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.
Be alert to storm WATCHES or WARNINGS issued by the National Weather Service and broadcast by local radio and television stations.