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Laurel prepares for winter storm
(Carrie Wells / Baltimore Sun)

City officials are making last-minute preparations in Laurel as Winter Storm Jonas begins sliding up the East Coast.

According to the National Weather Service, snowfall is expected to begin Friday evening, with 8 to 12 inches of snow possible and winds up to 30 miles per hour. Snow is expected to continue through Saturday evening, with 9 to 13 inches of snow during the day and additional 2 to 4 inches of snow in the evening.

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Gov. Larry Hogan issued a state of emergency beginning Friday morning.

Spokeswoman Audrey Barnes said the city of Laurel began preparations for the storm on Monday. Mayor Craig Moe later declared a snow emergency for the city that has been effective since 9 a.m. on Thursday and will continue until further notice.

On Friday, Barnes said the Emergency Operation Center will open at noon and is available at 301-725-5300.

"The EOC is one-stop shopping for residents with storm-related questions," Barnes said via email. "The city will have representatives from every department, including police, working around the clock in the EOC for the duration of this storm to connect residents with resources to help them weather this storm."

The city urges residents to contact Baltimore Gas and Electric if they lose power or see any downed power lines. Residents are also reminded to remove their vehicles from all snow emergency routes, Barnes continued, or the vehicles will be towed and their owners fined. All parking restrictions are in place to benefit emergency vehicles and snow removal equipment throughout the storm.

As the pending blizzard barrels toward Laurel, Mayor Craig Moe has declared a snow emergency for the city effective at 9 a.m. on Thursday that will remain until further notice.

"[The Department of Public Works] has pre-treated streets and the crews will be working 16-hour shifts during this snow event," Barnes said. "Residents got [automated] calls this morning, telling them to prepare."

Barnes said the city will also be posting winter storm updates to @cityoflaurel, @laurelpio and @laurelcityoem on Twitter and the city of Laurel Facebook page. A resident/media line is also available at 240-294-1307.

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