In light of a foreboding forecast, Harford County Government and Public Schools have announced the closure of school activities and other facilities in advance of what is expected to become a major winter storm this weekend.
The National Weather Service has issued a Hazardous Weather Outlook and Winter Storm Warning for much of Maryland, with snowfall totals Saturday predicted to accumulate up to nearly two feet in some areas.
As you can deduce from the photo (showing a fairly empty parking lot at The Festival in Bel Air at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday), the snow fell as expected and kept people indoors on what should be one of the busiest retail shopping days of the year.
Harford County Public Schools announced Friday that all weekend activities had been cancelled. All after school activities for Friday, December 18th WILL be held as scheduled.
However, ALL activities for Saturday, December 19th and Sunday, December 20th will be cancelled due to the impending inclement weather. Again, ALL activities, including Parks and Rec, HCPS athletics, church services, and scheduled school activities, are cancelled for Saturday, December 19th and Sunday, December 20th.
Due to the pending weekend forecast, all Harford County Parks & Recreation programs in & on Public School property AND Parks & Recreation buildings & property will be closed & programs cancelled both Sat., Dec. 19 and Sun., Dec. 20, 2009.
Also, the Harford Waste Disposal Center located on Scarboro Road will be closed on Saturday, December 19 in anticipation of the severe weather event being forecasted by the National Weather Service.
According to the National Weather Service:
Winter Storm Warning
URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON DC
1207 PM EST FRI DEC 18 2009
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA-WASHINGTON-FREDERICK MD-CARROLL-
NORTHERN BALTIMORE-HARFORD-MONTGOMERY-HOWARD-SOUTHERN BALTIMORE-PRINCE GEORGES-ANNE ARUNDEL-CALVERT-LOUDOUN-FAIRFAX-ARLINGTON/FALLS CHURCH/ALEXANDRIA-MORGAN-BERKELEY-JEFFERSON-INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…WASHINGTON…HAGERSTOWN…FREDERICK…
WESTMINSTER…GAITHERSBURG…COLUMBIA…BALTIMORE…ANNAPOLIS…LEESBURG…FAIRFAX…ALEXANDRIA…FALLS CHURCH…MARTINSBURG…CHARLES TOWN
1207 PM EST FRI DEC 18 2009
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY…
A WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT TONIGHT TO 6 AM EST SUNDAY.
* PRECIPITATION TYPE…SNOW.
* ACCUMULATIONS…HEAVY SNOW WITH ACCUMULATIONS OF 10 TO 20 INCHES THROUGH SATURDAY NIGHT.
* TIMING…SNOW WILL BEGIN BETWEEN 11 PM AND 2 AM TONIGHT AND WILL CONTINUE THROUGH EARLY SUNDAY MORNING. SNOW WILL BE HEAVIEST BETWEEN 8 AM AND 6 PM SATURDAY.
* TEMPERATURES…UPPER 20S TO LOWER 30S THROUGH THE EVENT…LOW TO MID 30S IN COASTAL SOUTHERN MARYLAND.
* WINDS…10 TO 20 MPH THROUGH THE EVENT…WITH GUSTS OF 25 TO 30 MPH SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.
A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. CONDITIONS WILL DETERIORATE VERY RAPIDLY SATURDAY MORNING AND WILL MAKE TRAVEL EXTREMELY TREACHEROUS.
Maryland State Police are also anticipating activating the state’s snow emergency plan:
STATE POLICE REMIND MOTORISTS OF ANTICIPATED SNOW EMERGENCY PLAN
(Pikesville, MD) – Motorists are reminded of highway restrictions should a snow emergency plan be activated as the Maryland State Police, Maryland Emergency Management Agency, State Highway Administration and other state agencies work together to address dangerous situations that could occur with the anticipated snowfall.
With the expectation of inclement weather, state police are reminding motorists when the snow emergency plan is declared, the law requires certain precautions. Parking is prohibited on roads and streets designated as snow emergency routes. All unattended vehicles along major roads will be towed. A motorist whose car or truck has been towed can contact the local state police barrack for information regarding their vehicle.
All motorists are required to use approved mud and snow tires or chains while operating their vehicle during a declared snow emergency. In order to better assist motorists and enhance law enforcement duties, the Maryland State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division will deploy 65 additional personnel equipped with four-wheel drive patrol vehicles to supplement barrack personnel across the state.
Commercial vehicles are invited to wait out the storm at one of ten Maryland State Police scalehouse parking lots that will be available throughout the weekend. The following is a listing of all the Maryland scalehouse locations:
Delmar on US 13 in Wicomico County
Finzel on I-68 Eastbound in Garrett County
Hyattstown on I-270 in Montgomery County
Parkton on I-83 Southbound Baltimore County
New Market on I-70 Eastbound in Frederick County
Upper Marlboro on US 301 in Prince George’s County
West Friendship on 1:70 Westbound in Howard County
College Park, Park & Ride on I-95/495 in Prince George’s County
Conowingo on US 1 in Harford County
Cecilton on US 301 Southbound in Cecil County
We’re pretty well snowed in up here in Jarrettsville. It looks like 10-12 inches accumulated so far. Doesn’t seem like any plows have been through, but at least the snow hasn’t blocked out my TV and Internet satellites, yet.
So far so good, powdery snow is not as dense and is less likely to damage trees, wires, and alike. Even though it gets covered right back up, it’s still a good idea to shovel the walk every couple of hours.
Here is one for the books….Home Depots were not taking salt shipments for the last month. Yesterday they shipped to ALL stores untill 7:30 PM. Nothing like keeping demand up with a false shortage.
Took me 5 hours to drive from Fairfax Va. to Edgewood after doing one of these loads.
Last night on the DC belt way the conditions were terrible. Ice and impassable major interchanges. I saw exactly 5 snow plows all night in as many hours. I saw only one discharging sand.
This is what road taxes through gas pay for. Its not acceptable to leave motorists stranded on roads they expect to be usable.
If the DOT doesn’t want to provide services when needed…dont allow them new trucks in budget…and get rid of the snow plowing money.
Go Dagger !
Cindy Mumby says
I made it out this morning to The Festival in Bel Air. Kleins, I mean Shoprite, was open for business, but slow. The photo in this story was taken from the parking lot at around 9:30 a.m.
Rt. 924 wasn’t too bad at the time with 4-wheel drive, but it may be a different story by now. No plows yet on my street and we have over 12 inches. The snow is high enough to be over the head of my little dog – good thing he’s jet black.
Note to Aberdeen Department of Public Works:
If you ride around on the streets with the plow raised you are not plowing you are riding. There can’t be that many “supervisors” and “troubleshooters” on the plowing shift. It was almost as if some were dragging it out. I was going to bring it up at a council meeting, but more people read The Dagger so I might as well bring it up here. I also noticed that there was zero chemical put down. It was not too cold, I shoveled out around 9 pm, I put some ice melt down (sparingly) and lo and behold this morning, dry and clear. The idea of staying off of the roads is so that (a) the snow can get plowed and cleared to the sides and (b) so that melting agent can be applied on that next pass. I guess we are “more broke” than we thought.
Dave Yensan says
I noticed some of the same behavior. The thing about snow clearance here is that they open a path down the center and then move on to other areas. I called the City Manager to ask him about it. His response was that they come through to get them opened and then come back later to do the “cleanup”. In the mean time we have to clear the 4′ out from the driveway and mailbox, only to have them come back through 12 to o24 hours later and put the whole mess back into the driveway and mailbox. I originally came from Buffalo and the plow drivers have been trained to clear curb to curb, the first time. The also straighten their plow before coming to a driveway and then kick it back to the right as soon as they pass. That method gets the job done once and saves time and money. In Aberdeen we can never afford to do it right the first time but always have the money to go back and fix it!
Just curious. What road were they on when you saw them with the plow up?
jimmy stillwell says
can’t help but bitch about folks who insist on walking in thesnow…on the roadway,with traffic, and cars traveling in both directions….just asking for a serious accident…no store around sells ‘common sense’….yessir…you have to be born with it…
My grip is the folks who make 0 attempt to clean off the top of their car before going out. If you have a car then it should be cleaned off. I can forgive the SUVs and Vans since not everyone is 6’2″ like me; but at least make an attempt. My second complaint are those who think windshield wiper fluid is a substitute for warming up your car and scraping away the ice!
Hangin' Out says
F.Y.I. Harford County Public Schools are closed tomorrow (Monday).
…and county government is opening late:
Hangin' Out says
Thank you Sir Brian!
I live in the Town of Bel Air and I must say the town guys did an awesome job of plowing. They tried to stay on top of things and the plow came through several times during the night. I know this because my dogs went into a barking frenzy every time they heard the plow. Kudos to Town of Bel Air DPW!
Get Real says
Ask the business owner’s how the Town did with snow removal there is no parking spots available still today on Main Street due to the snow, not being touched. The Town should just rename Main Street to Secondary Street,
I completed my Christmas shopping this Sunday at the mall why is it that the private sector gets it? All the privately owned properties were ready to conduct business and the poor business owners on Main had zero parking due to the lack of common sense at the Town.
Never mind, I take back my comment. My street was clear thanks to mother nature, the sun, and the fact that my street slopes downward. Once I got off my street–it was downright treacherous. We in Bel Air pay extra town taxes for stuff like this. I guess the boys worked all through the night and then slept in for the next 2 days. I’m calling Town Hall tomorrow for all the good that will do. Terry Hanley, where are you?
How do you tell the difference between a state road and a municipal (Aberdeen) road……….The state roads within Aberdeen limits were treated by SHA and were CLEAR last night, the Aberdeen DPW treated roads were packed snow with a nice shimmer of ice on top. I invite the mayor and DPW head to drive through Windemere and tell me that it’s acceptable, it’s not, a sand/ ash mix would add to traction and a melting agent followed by another plowing pass would have us down to asphalt. Aberdeen could have kept that tax decrease (political jockeying at all of our expense) and at least had the money left to operate the town properly. It wasn’t just Windemere it was the other neighborhoods too.
I did not want to go out last night (never on a football day) but had no choice during the Ravens halftime and I saw NO Aberdeen DPW trucks, but saw 3 SHA trucks all within the city limits keeping those state roads clear.
State roads have a number i.e 152, 543, 24. the rest is county or municipal. Guess to avoid huge cuts all that tax money got slashed from snow removal.
There are state roads that aren’t commonly known by a route number and in some cases a small portion of what you might think would be a state road is actually a county road (and vice versa.) I don’t have any idea how that works.
Actually, every road in the county (state, county, and municipal) has a road number.
Out on the county and state roads it looked like the Water & Sewer trucks were doing a better plow job than the big DPW trucks (though the W&S trucks didn’t have salt/sand to put down.) I haven’t been in any of the towns since the storm, but my wife said the roads around the Harco in Bel Air were terrible this morning when she was out running errands this morning.
I know how to tell the difference between state, county, and municipal roads, my comment was geared more to the fact that the state roads under SHA were plowed and treated and roads under Aberdeen are down right treacherous. Paradise Road and 22 are fine but getting out of Windemere is a whole other story. The melting agent should have been ordered long before the budget cuts. This better not be what the next 2 years has in store for us voters and tax payers.
RWinger, please see previous article http://www.daggerpress.com/2009/12/15/act-group-asks-aberdeen-to-eliminate-employees-initiate-furloughs-revisit-take-home-vehicles/
Especially numbers 2 and 4.
Kind of funny isn’t it, a letter written by a whack job calling for a reduction in employees and vehicles and look what Aberdeen looks like with the current strength. There may or may not have been enough employees or vehicles but piss poor supervision and goal achievement shows and the short comings start at the top. Perhaps Doug Miller and the DPW head need to answer to their employers….we the people. I can bring it up at a council meeting but must address “the chair” and will not receive any answers.
Dave Yensan says
Gee RWinger, why do you object to talking to the chair? Think about it the chair doesn’t have to seek out Art’s advice before answering. I’ve never heard that chair give anybody an um job. The empty suit sitting in the chair is as bad a joke as the whole “speak to the chair” routine.
Next threat of any potential snow is for the 31st and 1st. Not calling any snow storms out or anything like that, but what if Aberdeen has another measurable snowfall like 3 or 4 inches on a holiday (or weekend) on top of what is already on the ground? Apparently there was snow management not snow removal budgeted and this last one, based on some piss poor road conditions on Aberdeen roads compared to county or Havre De Grace roads, wiped out snow management since follow-up plowing has been scarce if all.
Aberdeen residents need to stop being sheep. The property tax was lowered and that was a vote getter, simple election strategy. They lowered the tax and with it went service. On top of that Martin O’Malley was trying to do his best Spenddenning impersonation and now Maryland has cut money on top of money to jurisdictions and we all suffer. This is what voters need to be reminded of.
Back to Aberdeen. Cutting the property tax (remember Hiob predicting this) would cut in to services. Our biggest services are DPW and Police. We’ve seen what cuts in service at DPW bring, many roads are still quite crappy, what cuts in service are on the horizon for police? Maybe we’ll call and a report won’t get made because of paper cutbacks, or a criminal doesn’t get arrested because there are no restraints, or we wait 30 minutes for a response while some robber is pillaging our home.
Aberdeen wasted money over the last two years. Aberdeen politicians wanting re-election cut your tax and also cut services. This last snowfall, a Top 10 in Maryland history, is just the tip of this ice burg that the SS Aberdeen has sailed in to.
Aberdeen Streets are in great shape compared to the mess left in Havre de Grace.
Al J Thong says
Nothing happens in a vacuum RW. If you have a mayor who’s mantra is,” if I don’t do anything I can’t do anything wrong”; it filters down to the DPW and the PD. Snow removal with the plows in the air and police cars parked to save the miles and the gas is the puchline to the Bennett joke.
vietnam vet says
Well the streets may be in great shape? the town office parking lot is saturated in ice. great for seniors with a disability. fell & cracked the black top. suppose I will get a bill from the town to repair the crack.
There is STILL ice on my street. Completely unacceptable in my opinion. You know what though, Ms.Elliots street was plowed the first night of the snowfall. Imagine that?!?!