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Executive Kittleman says County fully prepared for approaching winter storm

March 13, 2017

Media Contact:
Mark Miller, Administrator, Office of Public Information, 410-313-2022

ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Allan H. Kittleman outlined final preparations for the upcoming winter storm, following a 4:30 p.m. briefing with the Office of Emergency Management.

“Our highway crews have pretreated more than 200 miles of roadway with liquid chemicals, and in some cases salt, to get ahead of the expected snowfall,” said Kittleman. “We continue to closely monitor the forecast and we’re expecting accumulations to range up to eight inches for most of the County, and up to a foot in the western region. This is also expected to be a wet, heavy snow, so power outages are possible.”

The Snow Emergency Plan went into effect in Howard County at 3 p.m. today. The Maryland State Police declares a snow emergency with input from the Maryland State Highway Administration. Once a snow emergency is declared, parking is prohibited on snow emergency routes and snow tires, chains, or all weather tires are required.

All Howard County 50+ Centers will be closing at 6 p.m. Monday. All evening activities will be cancelled.

Trash, recycling and food scrap curbside collection has been cancelled for Tuesday, March 14. The County's inclement weather slide schedule will be in effect for the remainder of the week; Tuesday pick-up will slide to Wednesday, Wednesday to Thursday, Thursday to Friday, Friday to Saturday and Saturday on Saturday. The Alpha Ridge Landfill will be open Tuesday; however, this could change so residents are advised to check for updates.

Howard County’s snow removal fleet includes 135 pieces of equipment, including plow trucks of various sizes, graders and loaders. The County’s highway crews are responsible for clearing 4,515 individual roads and streets that make up 1,025 miles of roadways. The Bureau of Highway has more than 25,000 tons of salt on hand, as well as liquid magnesium and brine to treat roadways.

Residents are encouraged to follow the County’s snow removal progress on the new Snow Plow Tracker that was Beta launched in December 2016. The mobile friendly software can be accessed online at HoCoSnowPlowTracker.org. Residents will be able to see if their streets have been treated in the last four hours, between four and eight hours ago, between eight and 12 hours ago, or more than 12 hours ago. The snow plow tracker will also aggregate highway traffic camera views, weather alerts and real-time traffic information into the display, providing residents with a one-stop shop for storm recovery information.

“This is the first significant snowfall since we put the new Snow Plow Tracker online,” said Kittleman. “We’ll be closely watching feedback from our residents and we’re committed to constantly working to upgrade and improve the software.”

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