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News Maryland Howard County Laurel

Laurel mayor declares snow emergency, schools close

Laurel Mayor Craig Moe has declared a snow emergency in anticipation of a snowstorm expected to drop more than a half a foot of snow on the region. 

The National Weather Service is predicting between five and 10 inches of snowfall in Laurel beginning early Monday morning and continuing until the afternoon.

A winter storm warning is in effect through 6 p.m. Monday.  Prince George's County Public Schools have canceled for Monday, as have Anne Arundel County Public Schools.

The NWS predicts rain and sleet Sunday afternoon and evening, with ice forming and snow beginning around 3 a.m. Monday morning as the temperature drops from the mid-40s into the low 2's. One to 2 inches of accumulation is predicted overnight, while it is expected to continue snowing through Monday until 4 p.m., with an additional accumulation of 4 to 8 inches. 

Laurel Department of Public Works trash and recycling collections will operate on a Monday holiday schedule. Collections usually made on Monday will be made Tuesday; Tuesday's collections will be made Wednesday.

Moe said all city facility generators are to be checked, and all vehicles be fueled. City employees will prepare for an opening of the city’s Emergency Operations Center and Public Works will begin their street salting after midnight in anticipation of the ice starting to form after 2 a.m., according to a news release.

During a snow emergency, parking is prohibited on the even numbered side of designated city snow routes. All other posted parking restrictions remain in effect. Parking is prohibited on both sides of the street along state and county snow routes. According to the release,  cars parked illegally along snow emergency routes will be ticketed, towed and impounded at the owner's expense and risk. If your car is towed, call the Laurel Police Department at 301-498-0092 for release information.

City ordinance also requires all owners and occupants to clear ice and snow from sidewalks fronting their property within 12 hours after the cessation of snowfall or ice accumulation.  

Gov. Martin O'Malley issued the following statement to residents.

"As we are faced with another winter storm this season, we encourage all residents to remain vigilant and exercise extreme caution if traveling on the roadways is necessary," O’Malley said. “We also encourage employers to monitor weather developments and consider employee and customer safety when making decisions about their operational status."

The Maryland State Highway Administration is advising motorists to take precautions on roadways.

“Travel conditions could be hazardous Sunday evening and much of Monday during the storm.  Crews work to reduce the impact of the weather conditions but it is not until it stops snowing that they can make headway and clear travel lanes,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters.  “We ask motorists to monitor forecasts closely and potentially delay travel to provide SHA crews the space necessary to treat the roads.”  

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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