UPDATE: Snow in Montgomery County: Winter Storm Winds Down
Storm warning lifted; SHA continues to urge caution on roads.
Update, 5 p.m.:
Snow emergency responses wound down, as the National Weather Service canceled the winter storm warning for the Washington metropolitan region Wednesday afternoon.
The Maryland State Highway Administration urged motorists to continue to drive with caution, especially after sundown as visibility drops and roads could freeze. SHA encouraged drivers to dial 511 or go to www.MD511.org for traffic, weather alerts and road conditions. Road conditions, live traffic cameras and a variety of information to help with travel decisions and planning are available at www.roads.maryland.gov, SHA said in a news release.
The Montgomery County government said its 311 call center would close at 7 p.m. and reopen at 6 a.m. Thursday.
Pepco reported few outages at the height of the snowstorm.
By afternoon, photos of snowy and slushy scenes came in from across the county, including:
Meanwhile, Rockville’s operations maintenance superintendent explained how road crews used something you can drink as part of snow removal on city streets.
Update, 11 a.m.:
State Highway Administration urges drivers to stay home
The best advice for drivers today is to stay off the roads, the Maryland State Highway Administration said. For those who need to drive, SHA is urging motorists to slow down, use caution and increase the distance between your car and the driver ahead of you.
If you are on the roads today, a Wheaton driving school offered tips for safe driving.
Metro is operating on a normal weekday schedule Wednesday. MetroAccess service and certain Metro commuter bus routes have been canceled, and RideOn buses are experiencing delays.
All county parking garages are open without charge and will remain free until 7 a.m. Thursday. Parking at meter spaces on county roads is also free until 7 a.m. Thursday.
Trash and recycling
Montgomery County-provided recycling and trash collections are canceled for Wednesday. If you normally receive Wednesday recycling or trash service, your items will be picked up on Thursday. Remaining service this week will slide back a day. Paper recycling carts needing repairs will still be picked up on Friday.
The Shady Grove Transfer Station and Processing Facility is closed today.
Schools and government
County schools and government offices remain closed Wednesday. Non-emergency federal employees will be granted excused absences.
Montgomery County Recreation facilities are closed Wednesday and all MCR programs and activities are canceled. Community & Neighborhood Centers, Senior Centers and Indoor Pools are closed.
All Montgomery Parks facilities are closed and all classes and programs are cancelled Wednesday.
Original post, 5 a.m., Wednesday, March 6:
Montgomery County prepared Tuesday for what forecasters predict could be the region’s first significant snowfall in more than two years.
The storm was expected to begin as rain late Tuesday before becoming heavy, wet snow by Wednesday afternoon, making for a potentially “sloppy, snowy evening rush with increasing winds,” WJLA reported.
“This storm will most likely end Washington’s longest streak on record without a snowstorm of at least two inches, which has lasted for the last 769 days. It should be the biggest snowstorm since Commutageddon, on January 26, 2011,” the blog said.
The potential for heavy snow and strong winds led Pepco to make robocalls to customers Tuesday saying the utility was “preparing and encourage our customers to prepare as well.”
County Council President Nancy Navarro posted a message from the utility on her Facebook page that said, “Pepco is preparing for the worst of the forecasts.”
“We have more than 450 overhead line contractors already working on the system and available, along with over 300 tree contractor crews actively performing reliability enhancement tree trimming work, in addition to preparing for restoration work,” the utility reported on its website.
The message encouraged customers to report outages and keep away from and report downed wires by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662), following the prompts, and asking for a call back to confirm that power has been restored.
Customers also may report outages at pepco.com.
Live or sparking wires, especially those across roadways, may be reported by calling 911, the county government said in a news release. For downed trees on public property, call 311. Trees that have fallen on utility lines, should be reported to utilities at:
- Baltimore Gas and Electric: 877-778-2222.
- First Energy/Potomac Edison (Allegheny Power): 1-800-255-3443 (Allegheny).
- Pepco: 1-877-737-2662.
Other important numbers:
- For emergencies, call 911.
- For non-emergencies, contact Montgomery County Government at 311 or 240-777-0311.
- Residents concerned about the safety and well-being of children, the elderly or adults with disabilities should call the county’s Crisis Center at 240-777-4000.
- Other utilities:
For storm updates:
- Monitor street plow status: http://www5.montgomerycountymd.gov/snowmap/.
- Montgomery County government services (including RideOn Bus status, trash and recycling collection, and library and recreation center closures): http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov.
- Montgomery County Public School closures: http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/emergency/.