Baltimore County Crews and Plows Ready for Potential Snow
Posted by ekobler@baltimorecountymd.gov Ellen Kobler on 11th January 2019
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This post was originally posted on BALTIMORE COUNTY NOW

Olszewski encourages people to follow updates on Twitter

County Executive Johnny Olszewski has been briefed by DPW officials on the County’s readiness to respond to winter storms, including the snow event forecast for this weekend.

“Protecting public safety is the top priority when winter weather hits,” Olszewski said. “Our crews are well-trained and our equipment is in good shape so we are ready at the first flake to get the roads salted and plowed as quickly as possible, and we ask for people’s patience as our crews work the storm.”

Real-time Storm Updates Available on Social Media and County Website

Residents and the travelling public can get updated information about Baltimore County’s snow removal operations and road conditions online:

24 hours after the precipitation has stopped, residents may report storm-related issues like unplowed streets using the:

  • BaltCoGo mobile app
  • Baltimorecountymd.gov/stormfighter “Report Now” feature
  • Bureau of Highways phone number 410-887-3560

The County Stormfighter web page provides a link to live traffic camera feeds from the Maryland Department of Transportation’s Coordinated Highways Action Response Team (CHART). It also offers a link to the County’s list of road closures, which provides details on roads that are currently closed due to repairs, accidents, weather or other hazards. This list is updated frequently, so people are advised to check back often for the latest status. State roads and interstates are not included. Information on those roads can be found on the Maryland Department of Transportation’s travel advisories and road closures web page at http://www.chart.md.gov/TravInfo/Default.aspx.

Salting and Plowing Operations

The County stores 91,600 tons of salt in 17 salt barns around the County and replenishes those supplies throughout the winter as needed. The Department of Public Works stands ready to respond with 529 trucks and 554 personnel working from 11 highways shops, plus contractors as needed. The County has budgeted $9 million for storm response for the 2018-2019 season.

In an average snowfall of two to four inches, it takes four to six hours for crews to spread the first application of salt on all County roads. That first application of salt is critical to prevent the snow from bonding to the pavement. With accumulations of less than six inches, crews can generally plow every street within 24 hours after the storm has ended. With a storm of six inches or more, it takes 48 hours or more after the storm has ended to get through every street.

Snowplows start with main County arteries like Joppa Road, Rolling Road, Dundalk Avenue and Owings Mills Boulevard. They then plow feeder roads like Goucher Boulevard and Lyons Mill Road, and move into neighborhood streets including courts and cul de sacs as conditions permit. During a very heavy snowfall, plows may need to be diverted from neighborhood roads to concentrate on keeping main roads open.

Snow Equipment is Inspected, Serviced and Ready to Go

The County’s snow-fighting equipment is in storm-ready condition thanks to the Department of Public Works’ systematic fleet inspection and maintenance program. When snow is forecast, snow plow repairs are given priority over routine equipment maintenance to ensure that they operational.