Governor Hogan Urges MD. Residents to Stay Off Roads Thursday - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Governor Hogan Urges MD. Residents to Stay Off Roads Thursday

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REISTERSTOWN, Md.-- A wet mix of rain, sleet, and heavy snow are expected across the entire State of Maryland tonight and tomorrow. The storm is expected to begin this evening, with up to 10 inches of snow expected in the northern, central, and western regions of the State and at least three inches of snow predicted in parts of southern Maryland and the lower Eastern Shore. The National Weather Service has indicated that snow could be falling at a rate of over one inch per hour during the height of the storm Thursday.

Residents should make preparations now and are urged to stay off the roads tomorrow, especially during the rush-hour commutes.

“While the calendar says spring is just around the corner, we anticipate another blast of winter,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “I am asking that you stay inside so crews can work to clear roadways. And remember to check on relatives, friends, and neighbors. Helping your neighbors also helps our first responders.”

If you must travel, travelers may obtain the latest free traffic and weather information by calling 5-1-1 from a telephone or visiting www.MD511.org or www.traffic.md.gov .

Additionally, traffic, weather, and power outage alerts, as well as winter preparedness information, can be accessed on the Maryland Emergency Management Agency's website at mema.maryland.gov . Mobile device users can also download the free Maryland Prepares app.

MEMA and other state agencies are preparing to assist local responders with any issues related to the storm. MEMA has coordinated conference calls with the National Weather Service, state agencies, local emergency management offices, and other partners to coordinate response efforts. "Don't be lulled into a false sense of security if snow is not falling when you wake up on Thursday," MEMA's Executive Director Clay Stamp said. "Heavy precipitation is expected to begin mid-morning throughout the State and drivers will not want to be caught out on the road during the height of the storm." After the snow begins, temperatures are expected to stay below freezing in much of Maryland until Saturday. This could inhibit melting and make prolonged outdoor exposure a safety concern.

In addition to staying off the roads and monitoring the weather and power outages, residents should take the following actions:

• Keep devices charged so you will have a way to follow weather forecasts and local emergency information.

• Be cautious shoveling snow or ice to avoid overexertion. Take frequent breaks and keep hydrated.

• Be especially careful when walking. Because of the many storms in the last few weeks, sidewalks may be uneven with packed snow. Icing is expected in many areas this evening.

• If you must travel, make sure to have car chargers, kitty litter, or sand for traction, and extra drinks and snacks in case you get stuck in traffic.

• Let friends or family know of your travel route and expected arrival time.

• Check on friends, neighbors, and relatives, especially the elderly or vulnerable residents who may have trouble staying warm or maneuvering on icy surfaces.

• Be informed, make a plan, and build a kit. Information on supplies that should be included in your emergency kit can be found on mema.maryland.gov .

Residents can view power outage updates here: http://mema.maryland.gov/Pages/PowerOutagesData.aspx . You may also follow MEMA on Twitter @MDMEMA or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MDMEMA .

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