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PG County Winter Weather Advisory

Prince George's County
Winter Weather Advisory
February 5, 2010

LARGO, MD – Prince George’s County’s Department of Public Works and Transportation (DPW&T) staff goes into full snow operations deployment today at 1:00 p.m. to ensure full coverage on county roadways during and after the predicted record breaking snow event.

The Metro area forecast calls for a minimum of 16 with upwards to 24 or more inches of snow to fall beginning early this afternoon and continuing through to tomorrow evening. Crews will work 12-hour, round-the-clock shifts for as long as necessary to keep more than 1,821 miles (5,000+ lane miles) of county-maintained roadways clear of snow and ice to ensure the safety of residents, citizens, and others traveling through the county.

During a normal 12-hour rotating shift, more than 240 vehicles and 250 employees work to clear Prince George’s County maintained roadways.

However, Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson has tapped other county agency to assist DPW&T during this event, which will bring the total to nearly 300 snow vehicles on the roadways during a 12-hour shift. Those agencies include the county’s departments of Environmental Resources, Central Services and others as needed, as well as the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Prince George’s County Board
of Education.

Command staff work out of DPW&T’s TRIP Center located at 8414 D’Arcy Road, Forestville, MD, where press ride alongs and photo/interview opportunities can be arranged on site or in the field during the snow event. Visual opportunities range from loading trucks at the salt dome and plowing roads to a state of the art street monitoring center and command strategy room.

To assist road crews in keeping roadways clear, residents are requested to:

• Move and keep vehicles off snow emergency routes

• Park in driveways or other off-road locations wherever possible

• Park only on the EVEN-NUMBERED sides of streets
(This is very important in order to allow plows to clear residential roadways. Plows cannot maneuver around vehicles to clear roadways. One side of the roadway must clear of vehicles for plow drivers to effectively perform snow and ice removal services.)

It also is important for single-family homeowners or renters and business
proprietors to remember that they are responsible for:

• Removal of snow and/or ice from sidewalks abutting their homes
or business establishments

• Removal of snow from around fire hydrants is appreciated

As in all inclement weather conditions, citizens and residents are encouraged not to drive for their own safety, as well as that of emergency crews. Should drivers find it necessary to be on county roadways during or immediately after a storm event, they need to allow extra travel time and use extreme caution.

Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson may declare a State-of-Emergency, which would go into effect at some point after the snow has begun to fall. If a State-of-Emergency is declared, motorists should not drive or park on snow emergency routes or they could be subject to a ticket and fine.

In addition to DPW&T staff, members of the department’s successful Community Partnering Program will report to DPW&T concerning roadway conditions within their communities after crews have begun to focus on residential roadways. This allows crews to quickly redeploy where needed.

It should be noted that primary roadways are serviced first, followed by secondary and residential roadways. Primary roads are addressed first to ensure that public safety and other emergency vehicles are able to travel.

Following a storm of this predicted magnitude, it could take crews up to 48-hours or more after the end of the snowfall before they can focus on residential streets. Residents and citizens may contact the county’s Snow Information Center in the event of an emergency or to report concerns about roadway conditions (please do not report on residential roadway conditions before the 48-hour period) by calling 301.350.0500.

In a snow event of this predicted magnitude, folks are asked to be patient, do not drive on roadways, and park only on the EVEN-NUMBERED side of the street if off-street parking is not available.