ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland crews are out salting roads as snow is falling across Maryland. However, officials warn it will be difficult to travel on roadways through Tuesday morning and are asking residents stay off the roads.
A two-day winter storm could bring up to a foot of snow to Baltimore and areas north and west. Steady snow fell Sunday afternoon into early evening and later mixed with sleet and freezing rain.READ MORE: Adult Entertainment Resumes In Baltimore Friday Afternoon After City Agrees To Lift COVID Restriction
Crews did not waste any time getting ready.
“We were out on on all our roads statewide, some areas like western Maryland were plowing right now in this area were continuing to apply materials to keep the road from getting slippery,” said Shantee Felix with MDOT SHA.
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It was a snow day that’s been years in the making, some people chose to take a spin on a sled or a snow board. Others got to work before the snow piled up.
“…trying to get the sidewalks cleaned up, through some mag on them, and then also throw some salt on the parking lots,” said Nick and Evan Kaliakoudas, Baltimore County residents.
Baltimore County crews were preparing since 4 a.m. Sunday.
With nearly 500 pieces of equipment, it got a good layer of salt on the roads early on.
“They’re really working hard and largely non-stop,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr.
The goal was to avoid too much accumulation and, of course, any kind of icy freeze.
Baltimore City officials said they are ready to welcome at least six inches of snow, if not more.
It has 15,000 tons of salt at its disposal.
“Primary and secondary roads are now being addressed simultaneously to assure that streets are treated before major accumulations occur.” Mayor Brandon Scott said.
Areas north of Baltimore City, including Street, Maryland, always prepare for what central Pennsylvania is forecasted to get.
“We watch because those storms that sort of hit mid-Pennsylvania the backend usually hits us at northern edge of the county,” said Harford County Executive Barry Glassman.
With 1,000 miles of road, the 150 person crew in Harford County needs about eight hours to hit the main roads.
“This is a long duration event so we’ll have to have our crews run different shifts the next couple days to keep track of what’s happening,” Glassman said.READ MORE: 'We Cannot Accept This': Teens Shot In Baltimore Thursday Still In Hospital, One In Grave Condition; Police Following Leads
Ryan Lorenzo grew up around the area.
“I know what roads to go on and what roads not to go on,” he said.
As he was gassing up his car Sunday he gave some advice to anyone else who has to be out and about.
“Make sure you have gas, gloves, hat and don’t be dumb,” he said.
State highway officials encourage drivers to stay off the road and away from the plows.
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Maryland State Police say they responded to 301 crashes between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday.
Baltimore City officials urge residents to stay off the roads, so teams can continue to plow and treat the roads.
Mayor Brandon Scott said bridges and overpasses could get very icy.
Mayor Scott said they will continue snow operations overnight to prepare for Monday morning’s commute.
“We have spent the day plowing and treating all city roads and have taken proactive steps to improve our operations each hour,” Scott said. “Our snow crews will continue to deliver prompt and efficient service until the end of this snowstorm. I am asking residents to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary and be extremely mindful of freezing temperatures tonight and during the morning commute.”
City officials are encouraging residents to plan ahead, with predicted mixed precipitation expected to cause hazardous driving conditions. Anyone who has to travel should allow for more time to commute, drive at reduced speeds and increase stopping distance.
COVID-19 testing sites may need to close if the weather worsens, but are still planned to open.
Gov. Larry Hogan advised Marylanders to take the following steps in preparation for severe weather:
- Pay close attention to emergency information and alerts from official sources. Marylanders can subscribe to alerts from the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) by texting “MdReady” to 898211.
- Keep devices charged in case of possible power outages.
- Exercise extreme caution if you must travel. Marylanders can call 511 or visit md511.org for travel updates.
More resources on winter storm preparedness can be found here.
Statewide response efforts include the following:
Maryland Department of Transportation
- MDOT crews in western Maryland counties began applying anti-icing treatment on roads Friday morning. The remaining districts began applying anti-icing treatment Friday night and Saturday morning.
- MDOT crews have prepared equipment, supplies, and plans to keep roadways clear. Crews are currently deploying resources that include up to 387,000 tons of rock salt and 2,700 pieces of equipment statewide.
- Pre-emptive bus diversions are in place on several MTA bus routes. MobilityLink service delivery providers are on standby to operate under inclement weather protocols.
- Motor Vehicle Branch office closures or drivers skills test cancellations will be shared here, and customers with impacted appointments will be contacted.
- Those traveling through or picking up incoming passengers at BWI Marshall Airport are encouraged to monitor flight status.
- Multiple terminal operators at the Port of Baltimore will be closed Monday, including Ports America Chesapeake’s Seagirt Marine Terminal. Vessel activity is planned to continue uninterrupted.
- Marylanders can check current road conditions at roads.maryland.gov, and can view where MDOT assets are located with the S.T.O.R.M. app.
Maryland Emergency Management Agency
- The State Activation Level for the State Emergency Operations Center has increased to Partial as of 7 a.m. Sunday.
- MEMA will work with appropriate agencies to coordinate the state’s response and monitor any resource requests from state agencies or local jurisdictions.
- MEMA began facilitating daily Statewide Emergency Management coordination calls between the National Weather Service, state agencies, and local emergency managers starting on Friday afternoon.
- MEMA began increasing public information efforts through its digital platforms, billboards, and through the MdReady and MdListo text alert programs beginning Friday. MEMA has also amplified messaging from other state agencies and the National Weather Service.
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- COVID-19 testing and vaccination operations are subject to change due to inclement weather. Patients are advised to verify the schedule of any site or provider where they plan to get a test or vaccination.
- Marylanders in need of warming centers are encouraged to reach out to their local health department or to call 2-1-1 and provide their county location and ZIP code to get information about warming center locations, hours of operation, and available accommodations.
- The Maryland Department of Health advises Marylanders that to prevent the onset of cold-related illness, individuals should curb their exposure to cold weather, both by limiting time outside and by wearing several layers of lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. Detailed information about staying safe during extreme cold can be found on the Maryland Department of Health website