Updated: Highway departments preps for round two of storm, BGE's reported outages
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) remains in emergency operations as a second round of winter weather overnight will lead to treacherous conditions into tomorrow morning. Anne Arundel County remains under a Winter Weather Advisory until 9 a.m. Tuesday, Ferbruary 2. The National Weather Service expects the county ito get a mix of snow and sleet overnight with an accumulation of up to four inches through the morning. They re expect freezing rain, snow and high winds to impact most of the state. Western Maryland could see 5-7 additional inches of snow, with the I-95 corridor serving as the line between snow and rain falling. Wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour are expected to begin in the east today and continue through Tuesday. MDOT SHA has already deployed 2,700 pieces of equipment and 1,200 personnel to the storm, starting Friday with pre-treating activities. Crews will continue to enhance patrols along state- maintained roadways by applying materials and plowing. The department's Our Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART) has responded to more than 400 crashes around Maryland. Marylanders are encouraged to stay off the roads through tomorrow in order to give crews room to work. Go virtual if you can, drive safety and cautiously if you must. MDOT SHA advises motorists who are on the road, to follow the following guidelines: • Don’t crowd the plow. Please give snow plows a wide berth on all sides.
• Posted speed limits are for ideal weather conditions. In cases of inclement weather like this, you want to drive slower than usual, at least 10 mph slower than you ordinarily would.
• Clear your car completely before driving. Snow can fall off your moving vehicle and create a hazard for other drivers
• Go slow on ice and snow. Posted speed limits are for ideal weather conditions, so drive about 10 mph slower than usual
• Elevated road surfaces such as bridges, ramps and overpasses freeze first - Remain extra vigilant. Real-time weather and traffic information is available at md511.maryland.gov. Customers can also view the Statewide Transportation Operations Resources Map (STORM) web application, which provides a tracking of MDOT SHA winter operations. The Anne Arundel County Police Department recommended residents continue to stay off the roads as much as they could Monday, as that can help make plow driver's work a little easier. Some side streets in the county, continued to contain a mixture of ice and slush, making conditions potentially slippery "If people have to be on the road, we recommend using caution, and giving cars distance," said department spokesman Marc Limansky. The Anne Arundel County Police Department responded to 48 calls for vehicle crashes, between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m. Sunday, her said. Two of the crashes caused definite injuries, and there were 19 incidents with possible injuries. Twenty one resulted in property damage, and seven were reported as "hit and runs" with property damage. "Anytime you have precipitation there tends to be an uptick in vehicle collisions," Limansky said. Multiple branches have broken off trees in the area and fallen, sometimes to roadways below. Possibly caused by heavy snow or ice, the branches can snag powerlines or make road conditions more challenging. By 4:16 p.m. Monday, BGE was reporting 1,358 customers without power from 84 outages around Anne Arundel County. Thats an reduction of 240 customers without electricity since around 1:30 p.m., but an increase of 11 outage sites in the same amount of time. The outages began to be reported Sunday afternoon as a strong winter storm swept through the county, leaving ice, wet snow, and slushy roads in its wake. "Safety is BGE's top priority," the utility company's Tamla Olivier said in a press release on Friday January 29, as the storm apprached. "When outages occur, we work to restore every customer as safely and as quicky as possible. Please keep in mind that snow and ice can cause dangerous road conditions that may impact the arrival times of crews working to restore service." The statement said BGE's first restoration priority is public safety and critical facilities, such as 911 centers, hospitals, and pumping stations. Restoration is then generally scheduled so that the greatest number of customers can be restored as quickly and as safely as possible. In cases of extended power outages, consideration is also given to customers who have special needs. BGE customers can report outages or downed lines the following ways: Online, at BGE.com BGE's free mobile app, available at the Apple Store or Google Play Text message, sent to MyBGE (69243) Phone, by calling customer service at 877-778-2222 BGE warned, if an overhead wire falls across your vehicle while you are driving, stay inside the vehicle and continue to drive away from the line. If the engine stalls, do not leave your vehicle, and warn others not to touch the vehicle or the wire. Call emergency services immediately. These reporting services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To sign up for email and text notifications, visit BGE.com/alerts.