Winter storm prompts school closings and delays in Baltimore County

Winter storm prompts school closings and delays in Baltimore County
Austin Okafor of Randallstown walks along route 40 in Catonsville as he heads to the bus stop to head home. (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun)

A snowstorm moving in from the south swept across Baltimore County Monday night covering some areas with four to five inches of snow, prompting public schools to close and government offices to open late.

But luckily that was less than predicted by forecasters for the area, said Lauren Watley, a county spokeswoman.


Snow fell heaviest in the evening and had tapered off by the morning. "It's pretty much done for the day," said Matt Elliott, a National Weather Service meteorologist. "There may be some flurries this afternoon."

Baltimore County public schools announced they would be closed Monday night and the Community College of Baltimore County announced this morning their campuses and extension centers will open at 5 p.m.

County government offices will open at 11 a.m. and branches of the Baltimore County Public Library will open at noon, according to their websites.

Unofficial totals reported to the National Weather Service Tuesday morning, show four inches of snowfall in Arbutus, 3.6 inches in Dundalk and 2.5 inches in an area 2 miles northwest of Long Green.

Watley said the Department of Public Works "saw higher accumulation to the west and to the north," recording 4.5 inches of accumulation in Reisterstown and 2.5 inches in Dundalk.

County crews began working to clear roads when snow starting to fall last night, with about 30 percent of roads already cleared, Watley said at 8 a.m.

"Our main roads are starting to improve from earlier and we are focusing on primary roads now," Watley said. "Subdivision roads should be complete by rush hour this afternoon."

State roads are being plowed by the Maryland Department of Transportation's State Highway Administration, who also deployed crews last night.

"We've been plowing through the night to keep roads passable for emergency vehicles. As snow ends, crews will be able to make progress toward getting lanes down to bare pavement but with the amount of snow that fell statewide and the frigid temperatures, it will take time," said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters in a press release.

Few car accidents have resulted from the conditions, said Lt. Hubert Harrison, of the Baltimore County Fire Department.

"It's just a couple of routine auto accidents -- there's really not much going on," Harrison said at approximately 8 a.m. "It's been pretty quiet."

Watley urged commuters to use caution while traveling to work this morning.

"The roads seem to be clearing but delay your commute to work if possible," Watley said. "Take it slow. If you have to be out there leave plenty of distance between yourself and the car in front of you."