Pizza gets through snow little else does


Ken Clark usually prides himself on getting Pizza Express's orders delivered within 30 minutes. But this weekend, he prided himself on getting them delivered at all.

"What a nightmare," the owner of the decade-old Glen Burnie shop said yesterday. "This is the worst."

Mr. Clark's opinion is probably shared by people throughout the county, as they tried to cope with the worst winter storm to hit the area in a decade. He was, however, one of the few able to work through it.

On Saturday, his pizza drivers packed not only 240 pies and assorted sodas, but 50-pound bags of cat litter and shovels to dig their way out of the storm's mess. The situation was just as busy yesterday, but at least some roads were passable.

Mr. Clark said callers, many of whom sounded frantic for food, were warned their pizzas would arrive late. "Most people were thankful that we were driving at all," Mr. Clark said.

All but one caller who asked if a driver could stop for other groceries were turned down, Mr. Clark said. He just couldn't say no to the woman with a small child who asked for milk.

Other stores closed Saturday for the day, and even Marley rTC Station mall closed early as the expansive parking lots filled with snow and ice.

School officials decided late yesterday afternoon to close schools today, amid concerns that they just might not be able to clear school grounds in time.

The storm's high winds blew some streets shut, knocked down power lines and took down trees. It was the second storm with high winds in less than two weeks, and some people had yet to recover entirely from the earlier rain storm.

"I've never found my garbage cans from the other day," Mr. Carter said.

Anne Arundel County was the hardest hit of all Baltimore Gas & Electric's service areas, with 61,300 county residents without power. Of those, 40,000 were in areas of Severna Park and north. All but 140 customers had had their power restored by 4 p.m. yesterday, a BG&E; spokesman said.

Icy road conditions claimed the life of one motorist yesterday in the county, when a van rode into the rear of a stopped tractor-trailer on eastbound U.S. 50 at Route 424.

State police had closed that area of U.S. 50 shortly before 9 a.m. because of the slippery roadway. But about 10 minutes after the closing, a van rear-ended the stopped truck. The driver of the van, Santiago Osorio-Guzman, 19, of Arlington, Va., was killed, said Cpl. Paul Kutz. He was the only person in the van.

Elsewhere, police reported minor accidents as vehicles skidded on main roads that appeared clear, but still were slick.

"We've blown our snow budget," said Fred Glaeser, chief of county road operations, who said his department started the season with $280,000.

County road crews, which had been rolling since midnight Friday, had deposited 1,500 tons of sand mix and road salt on streets by yesterday afternoon. But workers on the 80 pieces of county equipment and 30 of contractors' were trying to make a pass through secondary roads so that people might be able to get to work today.

Mr. Glaeser said some small residential streets had drifted shut.

Three tree crews had removed 150 felled trees by midday yesterday, he said.

Despite the efforts of road crews working 12-hour shifts, Mr. Glaeser said he expected high winds and low overnight temperatures to glaze many roads by this morning.

A big problem, said a worker at the road operations' Northern District, was that plows reached residential streets yesterday as bundled-up people were digging themselves out. Just when people had cleared their driveways, a plow would come along and barricade them again.

And the telephone hadn't stopped ringing all day yesterday, mostly with calls from people who claimed they needed their streets plowed immediately.

"We have 250 emergency medical operations going to take place at 3 p.m. yesterday," the worker said.

Of those who took to the roads, those in four-wheel drive vehicles seemed to fare best.

"We had wonderful four-wheel drive volunteers that assisted us greatly," said Debra Smith, hospital operations coordinator for Anne Arundel Medical Center. Thanks to them, every worker was able to get in yesterday, she said.

One business found itself with no customers for one of its services and too many for another.

Benfield Shell Service Center in Severna Park closed its pumps at 3 p.m. Saturday because nobody wanted gasoline. However, plenty of people wanted their cars jump-started, towed or pulled from ditches, and the tow truck went from one place to the next, said Lisa Kerfoot, who works there.

"A lot of people are sliding off the road and breaking the seal on their tires. Or they've slid off into a ditch. It's been really busy," she said.

Some people took to cabs -- after a fashion.

Associated Cabs yesterday reported a two- to three-hour wait, "and that with a 25 percent snow emergency premium on the fare," said dispatcher Gary Martini.

For children, yesterday was a day for sledding, snowmen, ice forts and hot chocolate.

Carol Boughner of Glen Burnie said her daughter Angie, 9, was in and out most of the day, leaving piles of soggy clothes inside with each trip. Mrs. Boughner, stuck inside with the flu, just kept providing dry clothing.

Helen Del Brocco of North Linthicum took the weekend to catch up on letter-writing while her husband, Joseph, made soup. She called shut-in friends.

"As senior citizens, we're staying in," she said.

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