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Wintry weather produces up to 6 inches of snow in Carroll County, closing schools and government; 10 collisions reported

Snowflakes turned to freezing rain Thursday as Carroll County schools and government closed due to inclement weather.

Connor Belak, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service warned that icy condition would continue into Friday morning and cause hazardous road conditions. The NWS issued a winter weather warning alert until Friday 6 a.m. for large of parts of Maryland, including Carroll County.

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As of 4 p.m. Thursday, Maryland State Police reported 10 vehicle collisions with property-only damage. No injuries were reported.

Sean Schmidt of Westminster goes for a run along a snow-covered Old Westminster Pike as precipitation continues to fall Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.
Sean Schmidt of Westminster goes for a run along a snow-covered Old Westminster Pike as precipitation continues to fall Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. (Dylan Slagle)

A total of 1-6 inches of snow had accumulated by late afternoon, with 4 inches reported east of Westminster, 1 inch in the southern parts of the county, and 6 inches reported in Manchester. Ice accumulation of one-tenth of an inch has been reported in Carroll.

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Forecasters said that freezing rain and drizzle could occur overnight.

Maryland State Police said the snow emergency plan is in place for Carroll. Once activated the emergency plan prohibits cars and other vehicles from parking on roads and streets designated as snow emergency routes. Parking is prohibited until the Snow Emergency is lifted and the streets are cleared of snow.

Valerie Hawkins, Carroll County’s emergency management manager, said no weather-related power outages had been reported.

Carroll County Public Schools workers clear the parking lot at Westminster High School as precipitation continues to fall Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.
Carroll County Public Schools workers clear the parking lot at Westminster High School as precipitation continues to fall Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. (Dylan Slagle)

Carroll County government, Carroll County Public Schools, and McDaniel College were closed because of the weather. Carroll Community College announced Thursday morning that facilities would be closed but virtual classes and remote work would continue. For CCPS, it was the third consecutive week in which a school day was canceled because of inclement weather. The Board of Commissioners’ weekly open session was postponed until Tuesday.

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Carroll County Health Department’s COVID-19 testing site at the Carroll County Agriculture Center was closed due to the weather and vaccinations at a clinic being run by the health department were rescheduled.

The city of Westminster closed announced administrative offices, but phone lines will be answered as normal beginning at 8:30 a.m.

The town of Hampstead declared a state of emergency.

Precipitation is expected to continue until Thursday afternoon, at which point Belak said the snow should transition into a mixture of sleet and freezing rain.

Snow covers tHook Road in Westminster as precipitation continues to fall Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.
Snow covers tHook Road in Westminster as precipitation continues to fall Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. (Dylan Slagle)

For those seeking shelter

Human Services Programs of Carroll County is operating a temporary shelter located at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ, 17 Bond St. in Westminster. This is a 24-hour shelter that serves as a Day Center during daytime hours. The day center is a drop-in center that offers activities, access to charging stations, shelter from the weather, case management services, televisions and also serves as a warming center during extreme temperature weather events.

The shelter phone number is 443-201-3428. There are no admissions between 10 p.m. and 8 a.m. You must be able to negotiate 12 steps for access to the building. If this is not possible, please call staff at the Adult Only Shelter (410-386-6679) who will provide an accessible alternative. Services include a warm, safe place to sleep at night, case management/community resource connection assistance, nightly dinner, light breakfast items/snacks and hot beverages.

A county plow truck clears the parking lot of Carroll Community College in Westminster after snow and freezing rain fell Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021.
A county plow truck clears the parking lot of Carroll Community College in Westminster after snow and freezing rain fell Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021. (Dylan Slagle)

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