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Schools, offices close Tuesday as Laurel hit by snow

Laurel schools in Prince George's, Howard and Anne Arundel counties are closed Tuesday after a much-anticipated snow storm began to hit the area late Monday bringing snow and cold temperatures.

After the snow stopped, on Tuesday morning parts of Laurel were under four inches of snow, as city and county plows hit the major streets and residents started the routine of shoveling sidewalks and scraping car windows.

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The Office of Personnel Management announced that federal offices in Washington would be closed Tuesday, and Metro  suspended most of its bus service because of the severe weather. Limited bus routes will begin to operate on major roadways at 10:30 a.m., Metro officials said, under a "severe snow plan."

MARC suspended train service Tuesday on the Camden line, which includes Laurel.

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Laurel Mayor Craig Moe  declared a snow emergency in Laurel effective 7 p.m. Monday, and the city's Emergency Operation Center was opened last night at the Laurel Municipal Center.

In Laurel, certain city streets are designated snow emergency routes and when the city is under a snow emergency, parking is not allowed on the even-numbered side of those streets.

Cars parked on those sides of the street will be towed and their owners ticketed. To find a car that has been towed from a snow emergency route, call the Laurel Police at 301-498-0092 for release information.

The State Highway Administration is warning would-be travelers to plan ahead since many areas could see six or more inches of snow, making driving dangerous.

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In a news release, SHA said it has nearly 2,500 pieces of equipment to address snowfall, but the extremely cold temperatures will make clearing and treating roadways a challenge. Crews will add liquid magnesium chloride to salt applications to improve effectiveness since temperatures are expected to drop into the teens and single digits.

"Travel tonight and and tomorrow morning should be delayed since it could take SHA crews through noon Tuesday to get roads to bare pavement," SHA Administrator Melinda Peters said in a statement. "The expected snow, in conjunction with bitterly cold temperatures, could create very difficult conditions. SHA is asking motorists to plan ahead — take care of shopping and errands prior to Monday evening and avoid travel overnight Monday and Tuesday morning."

Blair Ames contributed to this story. Check back for updates.

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