UPDATED – 12:30pm – Governor Larry Hogan Announces Statewide Response Efforts for Winter Storm
Governor Urges Marylanders to Stay Off Roads as Winter Weather, Dangerous Travel Conditions Continue in Many Areas
ANNAPOLIS, MD – With winter weather still affecting many areas of Maryland, especially the Eastern Shore, Governor Larry Hogan has directed state agencies to coordinate and work together to keep Marylanders safe and informed. On Wednesday evening, the governor signed Executive Order 01.01.2018.01 declaring a state of emergency in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties to allow the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) to more easily coordinate with all state agencies throughout the duration of the storm. As snow or wintry precipitation, including blowing snow and freezing temperatures, continues throughout the morning and early afternoon, Governor Hogan is urging Marylanders to avoid unnecessary travel while crews work to clear roads.
“With blizzard-like conditions impacting parts of our state, I continue to urge all Marylanders to use common sense and stay off the roads,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state agencies and employees continue to work around the clock to clear roads, but continued snowfall, high winds, and freezing temperatures have created extremely dangerous conditions. Put your safety first and stay off the roads if possible and allow our crews to do their job.”
Statewide actions include the following:
- MEMA has increased the State Response Activation Level and opened the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) in order to coordinate state agencies and support resource requests.
- MEMA continues to monitor weather forecasts in anticipation of continued snowfall, freezing temperatures, and possible refreezing Thursday night.
MDOT State Highway Administration
- The MDOT Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) and the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) staff and contracted forces have been responding with a total of 1,893 state and contracted equipment as of 9:00 AM Thursday morning.
- MDOT SHA has proactively redeployed equipment and heavy loaders from Westminster, Frederick, LeVale, Hagerstown and Keyser’s Hill Ridge locations to assist in Snow Hill, Princess Anne and Cambridge on the lower shore.
- MDOT SHA is encouraging citizens to completely clear cars of snow and ice and to make sure tailpipes are not clogged with snow.
Maryland Transportation Authority
- Limited wind restrictions are in place at the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. House trailers, empty box trailers or any vehicle that, in the opinion of law-enforcement personnel, may not safely cross the bridge will be prohibited from traveling the bridge. Motorists who are denied passage will be assisted with safely turning around.
- All other MDTA bridges are under wind warnings. Motorists should use caution if crossing.
MDOT Maryland Transit Administration
- MDOT MTA has all services operating on normal schedules with only minor delays and diversions on Local Bus service.
- MDOT MTA also is responding to potential delays with Light RailLink service due to mechanical issues and with Mobility service due to side roads that have not yet been treated.
- To get the latest on transit updates for MARC Train and Commuter Bus to buses, mobility vehicles, Metro SubwayLink and Light RailLink, visit us on Facebook, Twitter, radio and at mta.maryland.gov.
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport
- The BWI Marshall Airport snow team worked throughout the night and this morning to treat the airfield for airline operations. Public roadways and parking lots at the airport remain open and operational for travelers.
- There are a number of airline flight cancellations on Thursday morning, primarily to cities in the northeast, where the winter storm continues to intensify. Customers with travel plans should contact their airlines for updated flight status information.
Port of Baltimore
- The Port of Baltimore is actively working ships today and operating business as usual at the public marine terminals.
- Port operations personnel are focused on salting and plowing, as needed. The public marine terminals are in good shape.
MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration
- The following MDOT MVA locations are closed today: Calvert County VEIP Station, Easton Branch Office, Loveville Branch Office, Salisbury Branch Office, Queen Anne’s County VEIP Station, Waldorf Branch Office and Charles County VEIP Station.
- The Baltimore City and Elkton Branch Offices are currently unable to perform driver skills tests.
- Remember, many MDOT MVA services are offered online and can be accessed at your convenience. Please check www.mva.maryland.gov for further updates.
Maryland State Police
- Maryland State Troopers have responded to 51 vehicle crashes and 55 disabled vehicle calls during the storm. The majority of incidents have occurred in Southern Maryland and Eastern Shore counties.
- Additional troopers remain on patrol. Troopers from the Aviation Command, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division and Automotive Safety Enforcement Division have been reassigned to patrol duties as needed in affected areas.
- Snow emergency plans have been implemented in the following counties: Montgomery, Queen Anne’s, Kent, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Calvert, St. Mary’s, Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset, and Charles.
- Under a snow emergency plan, a person may not drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, on any highway that is designated and appropriately signposted as a snow emergency route and for which a snow emergency has been declared and is in effect, unless the vehicle is equipped with chains or snow tires on at least one wheel at each end of a driving axle.
- Road conditions will be closely monitored and the snow emergency plan will be lifted when the roads are determined to be safe for normal travel.
Maryland National Guard
- The Maryland National Guard has positioned equipment and alerted personnel to hasten response time in the event National Guard assets are required.
- All MDNG facilities are operational (including the Salisbury Armory).
Maryland Department of Health
- Established operational structure for public health emergency operations.
- Notified and updated healthcare partners regarding the impending weather.
- Sent out cold weather resources press release with preparation tips and information on hypothermia.
Maryland Energy Administration
- The Maryland Energy Administration is coordinating with Maryland electric utilities on their storm mobilization and restoration efforts.
Maryland Department of Planning
- Monitoring requests for information, planning, and resource support.
Maryland Department of Human Services
- Currently moving additional supplies, including staff to the Eastern Shore.
- Contacted 3 state shelter sites on the Eastern Shore to confirm availability.
- Contacted local mass care liaisons in the most impacted jurisdictions.
- Distributed fleet (4-wheel drive) to emergency response staff.
Governor Larry Hogan Signs Executive Order Declaring State of Emergency for Lower Shore
Order Issued in Anticipation of Blizzard Conditions, Dangerous Temperatures, High Winds
ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today signed Executive Order 01.01.2018.01 declaring a state of emergency in Somerset, Wicomico, and Worcester Counties beginning Wednesday, January 3rd in anticipation of heavy snowfall, winds, and freezing temperatures as a result of a winter storm, creating potential power outages, hazardous travel conditions, and potentially impassable roadways. The executive order will allow the state to efficiently coordinate support and provide additional assistance to those counties.
“I urge all Lower Shore residents – and all Marylanders – to stay warm, stay safe, and avoid unnecessary travel. Freezing temperatures and heavy winds mean increased danger on our roads, even after the snow has stopped falling,” said Governor Hogan. “The state stands ready to offer any and all necessary resources to impacted counties.”
The Hogan administration has directed state agencies to stand ready to respond to the effects of this storm, including the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). Wintry weather and dangerous conditions may continue throughout Thursday, January 4th.