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Howard Co. public schools closed Monday; officials urge patience on clearing roads

Howard County Emergency Management Director Ryan Miller, left, and County Executive Allan Kittleman stand by one of the vehicles provided by the National Guard on Friday night as Winter Storm Jonas brings heavy snow and winds to the area.
Howard County Emergency Management Director Ryan Miller, left, and County Executive Allan Kittleman stand by one of the vehicles provided by the National Guard on Friday night as Winter Storm Jonas brings heavy snow and winds to the area. (Howard County Government photo)

As crews work steadily to clear thoroughfares and residents cleared sidewalks and driveways snowed under by the record-breaking blizzard of the last three days, Howard County has announced its government offices and public schools will be closed Monday.

The county is eyeing Wednesday as the target to clear all county roads, but county officials urge residents to be patient. The storm dumped a record amount of snow in the area, with totals ranging from 21 inches in Hanover to 28.8 inches in northern Columbia, according to a Sunday morning report by the National Weather Service.

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All evening activities in schools, both school-sponsored and community-sponsored, are canceled. This includes high school athletic practices and games, Howard County reports.

School days canceled due to inclement weather could impact the closing day for the year, but John White, the school system's communication director said that if there are no other closings this year,the last day for students will be Friday, June 10, instead of June 8, which was initially planned. The school system allows up to six days for inclement weather, White said.

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No decision has been made about school closings on Tuesday, the school system said in a Twitter post. Public schools were closed on Friday due to the forecasted blizzard.

With temperatures above freezing on Sunday, Darryl Pastor, a personal trainer from Talbott Springs, who lives in Columbia was among those digging out. Pastor welcomed the opportunity to help neighbors and residents shovel out, although getting to people who need help has been a challenge because of the snow.

"I really need to get a workout in," said Pastor, who moved from Oregon where he worked at an organic farm for seven months. "The exchange of money takes the fun out of it for me."

State and local officials, including Gov. Larry Hogan on Sunday morning, urged residents to stay off the roads and be patient waiting for crews to clear roads. Howard County executive Allan Kittleman said county crews are out in full force throughout the area.

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