The Baltimore region continues to emerge from its wintry cocoon to find a landscape mounded with snow and pedestrians trudging along roads that narrowed in places to a single traffic lane.

Dangerous conditions even on treated roads snarled commutes across the region. Schools planned to remain closed on Thursday, and many people still are stuck in homes on unplowed residential streets.


Families are growing restless. Most children have been out of school since Friday.

"They're driving me crazy," said Jenny Jackson in Towson. Her two teenage boys attend Archbishop Curley High School. "They want to go out to lunch and dinner and the movies. Nothing was open."

But getting back to normal will take at least another day.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said she expects every city street to be opened by Friday. About 85 percent of city streets were passable Wednesday, she said.

"I know that it is extremely frustrating if your street has not been touched," she said. "But we're getting there."

She said the commute Wednesday morning "was challenging, with a number of choke points." Still, she said, she was pleased the city avoided complete gridlock.

Hospitals throughout the region reported patients with snow-related injuries.

It happens "every time it snows," said Dr. Ryan Katz, an attending surgeon at the Curtis National Hand Center a MedStar Union Memorial Hospital. He has repaired three severely fractured and shredded fingers on a patient injured by a snowblower; another patient was a man whose thumb was partially torn off by a leash when his dog was hit by a car.

Meanwhile, the cost of cleaning up after the record snowfall — 29.2 inches fell at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport between Friday and Saturday — was still being calculated.

Baltimore budgeted $2.86 million this year for snow removal. Officials said they won't know the storm's total cost until next week. A contract worker running, say, a skid loader was earning between $200 and $250 an hour, officials said.

Officials in Baltimore County were also still figuring out the bill. A spokeswoman said it would likely top the county's $6 million budget.

Almost all streets in the county had been plowed at least once by Wednesday morning, spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said. She didn't have an estimate on when plowing would finish.

Crews were widening the lanes of major roads, she said, but she urged drivers and pedestrians to remain cautious.

"If you come to even a small intersection, it's very difficult to see around the high snowbank to see if there's a car coming," she said. "In a lot of areas around the region, people are not able to clear their sidewalks, and we just urge pedestrians to be extremely careful and drivers be on the lookout."


Every Carroll County road had been plowed by 4 p.m. Tuesday, officials said in news release. They said they expected to exceed the $1.8 million budgeted for snow removal.

In Howard County, Jim Irwin, director of the Department of Public Works, said the county went over its $3.5 million snow-removal budget last winter and will likely do so again with this snowfall.

Anne Arundel County officials said they hoped to have all residential streets plowed by Wednesday night. There was no estimate available for cleanup costs.

Snowplows in Harford County had made at least one pass on every county road by Tuesday night, a spokeswoman said. The county budgeted $1.7 million for snow removal. Spokeswoman Cindy Mumby said it's too soon to estimate the final cost.

The Maryland Transit Administration said it will fully restore all service Thursday .

Charlie Gischlar, a State Highway Administration spokesman, said the area's highways are "in really good shape."

Still, he warned drivers that snow piles remain on the shoulders in some places, creating "pinch points," for merging traffic.

"Be safe, because we saw more cars out there," Gischlar said. "Neighborhoods are getting shoveled out, so you're seeing the rush hour."

Benjamin Schwantes, 37, said he and his neighbors in Hampden dug a series of alleys to reach the main roads. His wife is nine months' pregnant.

"Certainly I understand that this is an unprecedented amount of snow," Schwantes said. "But for the city to not make any sort of substantial effort to come in and deal with these side streets is very frustrating."

Jennifer Wallace's car was buried under a snowdrift along Lake Montebello Drive. She said it wasn't unearthed until Wednesday morning.

Wallace, 62, called 311. She said a recorded message told her to file her request online. But when she checked back, she was told to call 311 for an update.

"We were in a black hole," she said. "That kind of thing just makes you think like you're totally alone, that there's just no way to make contact."

Baltimore officials said they have issued 187 citations to businesses on main streets for failing to shovel sidewalks. They said they would not yet cite those along residential streets.

Anne Arundel County schools were expected to reopen Friday, but Baltimore, Harford and Carroll county schools have been closed through the end of the week.

Baltimore City and Howard County schools are closed Thursday, but have not made an announcement about Friday.

With schools still closed, many families sought entertainment outside their homes.

Port Discovery offered a "Post-Blizzard Special," cutting ticket prices from $14.95 to $8 — a promotion that will continue through the week, while schools remain closed. Spokeswoman Ashley Barnett said parents have been bringing their children to the museum in droves.

"We didn't open till noon [Tuesday], but they were there at 10 a.m., so you know they're ready to get out of the house," she said.

The Maryland Science Center drew more than 300 visitors Wednesday, its first day open after the storm. But for those seeking hands-on fun in the snow, the science center offered a series of "Snow Day Science" experiments on its website, with instructions to make snow maple syrup taffy, soap snowballs, snowball launchers and more.

The Baltimore Blast practice facility in Parkville closed Wednesday, so the indoor soccer team held an open practice with free admission at the Maryland Sports Arena in Edgewood instead. The team planned to do it again on Thursday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Arena owner Ron Szczybor said about 150 people, many of them children, packed the stands. They spilled onto the field afterward to meet players and collect autographs.

After days of sledding, coloring, fort-building and reading with her kids, out of school since last Thursday, Debra Mathews found a way to allow her and her husband to go back to work: camp.

Village Learning Place in Charles Village, where Mathews' family lives, puts on a School's Out Camp, in which AmeriCorps members help children build imaginary playgrounds and do other activities.


Mathews said she was jealous of parents in Baltimore County, where schools announced Wednesday they would close for the rest of the week.

"In a way, it would be more helpful," she said. "Then we could plan. This day-to-day, not knowing what my schedule is going to be makes things complicated."

Baltimore Sun reporters Liz Bowie and Merdeith Cohn and Baltimore Sun Media Group reporters Wayne Carter, Fatimah Waseem, Andrew Michaels and Meredith Newman contributed to this article.

School closings

•Baltimore City and Howard County schools are closed Thursday, but haven't made an announcement about Friday.

•Anne Arundel County schools are closed Thursday but will open Friday.

•Harford, Carroll and Baltimore County schools open Monday.