Dig Out Dangers: Winter Storm System Proves Deadly In Maryland

BALTIMORE (WJZ)— Snow dangers. Officials have a warning for anyone digging out after the storm after several deaths were reported.

Linh Bui  has more on the safety concerns.

This snow is not just dangerous. It’s already proven to be deadly.

The shovels were out across Maryland. Cars and driveways were buried in snow.

“We do our walk. And we’ve gotten our girls—when they’re not playing in the snow–to come and help, too,” said Gail Boyes.

Deep, heavy snow covers the ground with an icy layer on top.

“We had to do it one time then extra bonus snow last night–that was a treat. Got to do it again this morning,” a man said.

The conditions were tragically too harsh.

Officials confirm three potentially snow-related deaths in Howard County: 56-year-old Richard Tucker, of Woodstock; 57-year-old James Wells, of Columbia; and 61-year-old Kenneth Frame, also of Columbia.

They all “tragically passed away while shoveling snow. Three different cardiac incidents. All three were witnessed and people called 911. We rushed to them but could not save them,” said Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.

Doctors say don’t overexert yourself. Shoveling snow can cause serious health problems.

“Shoveling snow is considered strenuous activity. Not mild or moderate. So people who have chronic angina, people who have known heart disease where they do get chest pain off and on or get very short of breath, should certainly stay away from it,” said Dr. Sriram Padmanabhan, Franklin Square Hospital.

Shovel slowly, do a little at a time, and take breaks.

Shoveling  is not easy. And doctors say if you experience chest pains, dizziness, fatigue or shortness of breath, stop shoveling immediately and get help.

Pitch in as a community.

“This is my neighbor’s yard. I always snow blow his yard first and then do mine,” a man said.

Don’t take on more than you can handle.

“It just is not worth putting yourself in trouble because of this,” Padmanabhan said.

Unfortunately, doctors say every single snowstorm they see people getting injured from shoveling.

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