Howard closes school again on Friday; record low precedes a slight warm-up

Howard County canceled school again on Friday after Thursday's stom left Howard and most of the region blanketed in snow.

The sun came out Friday morning, helping the temperature rise from a record low 10 degrees for March 6, although it's not expected to get above the high 20s.

Thursday's storm also was considered a factor when a train hit an unoccupied car stuck on the railroad tracks at the Howard/Baltimore County line Thursday morning, Howard County police said. No one was injured in the accident.

Police say 41-year-old Kristine Martinez's Honda Civic got stuck on the tracks at 9:11 a.m., likely because of the snow and ice, according to a press release.

Police said they don't expect to cite Martinez in the wreck.

After rain for most of the overnight, snow began falling in parts of Howard County at approximately 7:30 Thursday morning. The National Weather Service is predicted five to nine inches of accumulation.

The temperature dropped throughout the day Thursday. It could drop into the single digits Thursday night, with a windchill low of negative two degrees.


According to the National Weather Service, a winter storm warning is in effect from 10 p.m. Wednesday to 7 p.m. Thursday.

The Howard County Public School System announced Wednesday night that schools would close Thursdayas. Howard County and federal government offices are closed for the day, as are the district and circuit courts and all county facilities, including parks, senior centers and libraries.


Regional Transportation Agency buses aren't running due to the snow and recycling and trash collections normally scheduled for Thursday will instead be picked up on a sliding schedule. The Alpha Ridge landfill remains open.

Howard County's emergency operations center opened at midnight, according to county spokesman Andy Barth. Howard County, like the rest of the state, has dealt with an unusual number of snow storms this winter.

According to Barth, the county had already exceeded its extreme weather budget by $2.5 million as of Sunday.

Thursday marks the seventh snow day for students this year.

The Howard County Public School System had only allocated for five snow days in its calendar. Once the winter season is over, the school system will consider adjusting its calendar to make up for snow days or apply for a waiver from the Maryland State Department of Education to not make up for the snow days.

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In preparation for the storm, Howard County government has issued a series of tips and taken some precautionary actions.

The government announced on Twitter Wednesday that there will be no street parking on Main Street in Ellicott City from 11 p.m. Thursday through 7 a.m. Friday in anticipation of snow removal.

The government is asking all residents to avoid street parking if possible, as crews work to clear the county's 3,546 roads.


In Ellicott City, officials have asked residents not to park along Main Street Thursday night so that snow plows can begin to clear the road at 11 p.m. The street will be closed to traffic from Ellicott Mills Drive to the Baltimore County line until it is cleared. The street should be ready for traffic by 7 a.m. Friday, officials said.

Columbia Association has instituted its inclement weather policy for Thursday. All CA facilities are closed. All Howard County Health Department clinic appointments have been canceled Thursday.

The government also linked to a tip sheet from the American Heart Association on staying safe while shoveling.

Reporters Amanda Yeager and Blair Ames contributed to this story.