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Tough Going: Plows Working Round-The-Clock To Uncover Maryland Roads

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Meghan McCorkell joined the Eyewitness News team in July 2011 as a...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A major winter storm wallops Maryland, bringing up to a foot of snow in some places. And we’re not done yet.

Meghan McCorkell has more on treacherous road conditions.

There have been no major problems. However, firefighters have asked people to clear the areas around hydrants because they’ve had trouble responding to several calls.

Related Story: Yet Another Round Of Winter Weather Headed To Maryland 

At a press briefing, the city said it responded to more than half of the 200 or so complaints they had about icy conditions. They are generally receiving high marks after adding extra contractors to plow.

They’ve used 8,000 tons of salt and crews are still on round-the-clock duty.

More snow continued to pile up overnight. It was round two of this winter blast.

Mother Nature threw her best shots at Maryland–with sleet, hail and even thundersnow.

“We are not out of the woods yet. If people are at home, you should stay at home,” said Governor O’Malley.

The second round caused another mess on the roads.

“Really people shouldn’t be out here, really. They really shouldn’t because of the fact that it is slippery,” said driver Rhoda White.

Heavy, wet snow has left a ton of water behind. A refreeze is possible.

“We want to make sure when motorists go out tonight they take their time and they know the road may look wet, but it may actually be ice,” said Sgt. Marc Black, Maryland State Police.

It’s the ice that’s causing problems at a Pikesville gas station.

“The gas truck is not coming because of the weather and a lot of snow. So they are not able to deliver at the station,” said Dnk Shah, BP employee.

The snow came hard and piled up fast, with howling winds making driving treacherous in the northern reaches of Baltimore County.

“It’s been pretty rough all night,” said plow driver George Lang. “We haven’t had a chance to stop. We’ve been going since about 8 o’clock last night. Just constantly back and forth.”

In the city, extra contractors were brought in to clear neighborhoods, tackling 90 percent of them by noon.

“I’m actually really impressed ,” said Blakely Gletfelty, Canton. “When I came down this morning and saw the main streets are mostly clear and they’ve already been down a lot of the side streets. It’s a lot better than it has been in past snowstorms.”

Still, the mayor warns:

“Safety, safety, safety. This isn’t daredevil weather. This isn’t speeding weather,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said.

The mayor says the city learned the lessons of “Snowmageddon” a few years ago and brought in extra on-call contractors, and she thinks they’ve done a pretty good job.

“I think we’ve seen the benefit of that. The streets are much more passable,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said. “Our goal is to make sure we have a city that is safe and that we are using the resources that we can to attack the main streets and the side streets so the city can function.”

Both city and county crews have been on round-the-clock duty. The heavy snow did prove challenging.

“If I was shoveling, I wouldn’t like it too much because it’s pretty heavy now,” said Charles Leeke.

“We get what we get. But nope. It’s fine. It’s not bad. The rain makes it bad. But other than that, we’re good,” a man shoveling snow said.

And with temperatures dropping, we may be in for another day in the slow lane.

State police say they did see a lower number of accidents Thursday because many people heeded the warning to stay home.

If you have any problems in the city, you should call 311.

Related Link: Baltimore Snow Center

The last time a snow state of emergency was issued was the blizzard of 2010. That storm crippled Maryland for days.

SHA says signal outages are possible and drivers should approach dark intersections as four-way stops. All travelers should remain alert for pedestrians and utility crews. SHA reminds motorists to clean vehicles off completely before driving. This includes not only glass surfaces but the hood and roof of vehicles, as well as head and tail lights.

Residents should have a disaster supply kit with water, non-perishable food, a battery or crank-operated radio and other necessities in case of an extended power outage. Now is also the time to make sure cell phones and other devices are fully charged in case of a power outage.

Do not leave pets exposed to cold and snow for long periods. If your pets must remain outside, make sure they have a dry shelter, plenty of food and drinkable (non-frozen) water. Do not put blankets or pillows in their shelter as they may become wet and frozen in a snowstorm.

The following websites can provide more winter preparedness information:

Other Local News:

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