Governor Urges Marylanders to Stay Off Roads as Frozen Precipitation, Dangerous Travel Conditions Continue in Many Areas
ANNAPOLIS, MD – With winter weather affecting many areas of Maryland, Governor Larry Hogan has directed state agencies to coordinate and work together to keep Marylanders safe and informed. Governor Hogan is urging Marylanders to avoid unnecessary travel while crews work to clear roads as snow intensifies throughout the afternoon and early evening statewide.
“I continue to urge all Marylanders to use common sense and stay off the roads if possible during this storm,” said Governor Hogan. “State agencies have been working around the clock to coordinate resources and clear roads, but heavy snowfall will occur throughout much of the state this afternoon into the evening. Put your safety first, follow local weather forecasts, and be sure to heed all warnings as we continue to experience dangerous conditions.”
The following is a list of statewide actions and information for the public:
Maryland Emergency Management Agency
- MEMA has increased the State Response Activation Level and opened the State Emergency Operations Center in order to coordinate state agencies and support resource requests.
- MEMA continues to monitor weather forecasts in anticipation of increased snowfall and winds.
State Highway Administration
- MDOT SHA has deployed 1004 personnel and 2318 pieces of equipment (plows, salt trucks, etc).
- There have been incidents in counties across the state. To check current road conditions, go to roads.maryland.gov.
- Major incidents have included jackknifed tractor-trailers closed I-95 at MD 32 and I-70 at I-81 temporarily this morning. I-295 at I-195 was closed southbound earlier this morning, as well.
Maryland Transportation Authority
- Bridges have been placed on wind restrictions periodically. To view the wind policy, go to /go.usa.gov/xQcEX.
- Toll facility roads remain wet and crews continue treating roadways.
Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
- The BWI winter weather team has been in place since Tuesday night. Personnel pre-treated runways and taxiways overnight, and the airport’s winter weather employees are plowing the airfield for airline operations. Parking lots and public roadways will be treated as needed.
- Airline flights are operating. However, widespread airline flight cancellations are expected throughout the afternoon and evening.
- Those passengers with travel plans today should contact their airlines for updated flight status information. The BWI website (www.BWIairport.com) also provides airline flight information.
Maryland Transit Administration
- For a full list of service status, go to mta.maryland.gov.
- Commuter Bus: Service is suspended.
- MARC: Service is suspended.
- Mobility: Service is suspended. Call Center is open.
- Bus: Phase 1 Service Reduction is now activated. A full list of bus diversions will be posted on the website, mta.maryland.gov. Articulated coaches were not used for the Wednesday morning peak service.
- Light RailLink: Minor delays in north and southbound service. Trains are operating at reduced speeds to maintain safety. Customers are reminded to use extra caution in and around stations and platforms.
- Metro SubwayLink: No impact to service at this time. Customers reminded to use extra caution in and around stations and platforms.
Motor Vehicle Administration
- All MDOT MVA offices and VEIP stations, with the exception of the Salisbury Branch, will be closed today.
- MDOT MVA encourages customers to complete transactions online at mva.maryland.gov and/or reschedule appointments.
Helen Delich Bentley Port of Baltimore
- Salting and plowing will occur throughout the day as conditions dictate.
- Ships are being worked at the marine terminals. Trucks are being processed.
- There is no cruise ship scheduled until Saturday.
Maryland State Police
- Maryland state troopers have responded to 572 vehicle crashes, 301 disabled vehicles, and 1,766 overall calls for service during the storm.
- 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.
- The Maryland State Police, in conjunction with local agencies and the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration, has implemented the snow emergency plan in the following counties: Allegany, Garrett, Baltimore, Charles, Washington, Carroll, Calvert, Cecil, Frederick, Howard, Anne Arundel, and Prince George’s Counties.
- Under a snow emergency plan, a person may not drive or attempt to drive a motor vehicle, 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.
- A person may not park a vehicle 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. Any person who parks on effect snow emergency routes may have their vehicle towed.
- 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 Energy Administration
- Maryland Energy Administration and the Maryland Public Service Commission continue to monitor, support, and coordinate with the Maryland electric utilities on their storm preparedness, mobilization, and restoration efforts.
Maryland Department of Human Services
- Human Services and local mass care partners were contacted and provided situational awareness.
- All state disaster shelter facilities were contacted and provided situational awareness of weather conditions.
- The Department of Human Services reviewed and prepared sheltering equipment and secured additional fleet for emergency essential staff.
Maryland Department of the Environment
- Emergency Response Division remains staffed and available for hazardous materials incidents, oil spills, and other environmental emergencies.
- Land and Materials Administration is prepared to approve alternative operating schedules for counties’ refuse landfills to receive any debris from cleanups.
Maryland Department of Agriculture
- Animal Health staff are on call to respond to any animal-related emergency.
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
- Several state parks (Cunningham Falls, Fort Frederick, Gambrill, Gathland, Greenbrier, Harriet Tubman, Patapsco Valley, Soldiers Delight and Washington Monument) are closed and others are partially operational (Deep Creek, Elk Neck, Gunpowder Falls, Rocks and Seneca Creek). Notifications are being made via appropriate social media channels. (We expect other closures throughout the day).
- Natural Resources Police are on the road assisting when and where needed. In western Maryland, officers will be assisting the Maryland State Police and other first responders get into areas they cannot access. The force is equipped and prepared to deal with this situation and remains mobile.
- Engineering and construction crews are standing by to deal with any potential emergency issues at our state buildings and facilities.
- The wildlife response teams remain available for emergency wildlife issues.
- Land management team is on call to handle any significant impacts on the state’s network of wildlife management areas.
- The Maryland Forest Service is available to help clear fallen trees and other debris as it becomes necessary.
Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation
- If property is damaged by the storm, residents may qualify to have their property assessments reduced. Once it is safe to do so, SDAT assessors will identify affected areas and notify residents to apply for the reduction.
- If a storm occurs and residents qualify to have their property assessments reduced, SDAT will coordinate with local governments to ensure any corrected tax bills or refunds are issued in a timely manner.
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
- The Division of Unemployment Insurance claims center is open for calls from 8:00 AM. to 2:00 PM. UI claimants may continue filing their weekly certifications online at www.mdunemployment.com or call (877) 293-4125.
- Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) offices are closed in all regions, but staff are on call to respond to emergencies. Contact MEMA at (888) 257-6674 to reach regional MOSH staff.
- The American Job Center in Salisbury is open. (All other American Job Centers are closed throughout the state.) To reach the Lower Shore American Job Center, call (410) 341-8533. Job seekers and businesses can continue accessing job search and self-service options via the online Maryland Workforce Exchange at https://mwejobs.maryland.gov.
- The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing will waive any late fees customers may incur if they are unable to renew their license due to the state closure.
- After the storm, if the winter weather has caused damage to your home, visit www.dllr.maryland.gov/license/
mhic/ for information on choosing home improvement contractors and the Guaranty Fund Claim.
- Impacted residents with questions regarding the licensing and regulation of home improvement contractors – including whether a person is currently licensed with the Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) – should contact the MHIC at (410) 230-6309 or http://www.dllr.maryland.gov/license.
Maryland Department of Disabilities
- Disabilities’ dedicated Constituent Outreach Department has increased monitoring of requests via phone, online and social media. Staff are available to provide referrals, references, and coordination for cases involving families and individuals with disabilities.
- Continuing to provide remediation of complex documents, website testing, and rendering social media messages for universal access.
- The Maryland Technology Assistance Program, a program within the Maryland Department of Disabilities, houses a large inventory of assistive technology available for temporary loan.
- Needed equipment is available for loan through our partners. Access to DME not immediately available can be requested through the Lion’s Club.
- Disabilities is providing subject matter expertise and information accessibility support to local jurisdictions and state agencies.
- Working with accessibility counterparts in the region to obtain timely field information regarding the status of affected individuals with disabilities and others with access and functional needs and measures being taken to address their unmet accessibility requirements.
Maryland Department of Health
- Conducted active syndromic and disease surveillance, specifically monitoring for weather-related injuries.
- Provided situational awareness to MDH Administrators and local public health and healthcare partners (almost 100 partner organizations via the Health Alert Network).
Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems
- Monitoring the status of hospitals and jurisdictional EMS needs.
Maryland Department of General Services
- All 54 state office buildings, sidewalks and parking areas are being treated and cleared of snow in preparation for offices being reopened for business.
Maryland Department of Aging
- Working with local Area Agencies on Aging to ensure vulnerable older adults who receive services are safe. Shelf-stable meals were provided yesterday to older adults who may need nutritional assistance.
- Assisted living and skilled nursing facilities are being monitored in partnership with the Department of Health to ensure a timely response to any issues.