Area braces for snowfall

plows, salt stand ready

Forecasters predict up to 6 inches, sleet later

January 19, 2002|By Del Quentin Wilber and Larry Carson | Del Quentin Wilber and Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

State and local officials say they are ready to hit the streets with salt trucks and plows to tackle a winter storm the National Weather Service said could strike at dawn. Forecasters predict 3 to 6 inches of snow early, turning to sleet and freezing rain by afternoon. Temperatures are expected to be in the low- to mid-30s, forecasters said.

State Highway Administration officials said they have 2,000 pieces of equipment ready to keep roads and highways clear. Harford County officials said 130 drivers, equipment operators and other workers are ready to jump onto trucks that are loaded with salt mix.

In Anne Arundel County, crews are to begin the day by spreading salt and sand on roads, said Pam Jordan, a spokeswoman for the county's Department of Public Works.

"We are ready for whatever Mother Nature sends our way," she said.

Baltimore County spokeswoman Elise Armacost said the Bureau of Highways director would monitor the weather reports and call in drivers if the storm materializes.

Baltimore officials said they would begin checking weather conditions early this morning. The city will have a "full force" of equipment and workers ready to salt roads, said Kathy Cooper, a spokeswoman for the city's Department of Transportation.

Howard County officials are asking residents to remove portable basketball hoops and other portable or temporary structures on county roads.

"Let's relocate those basketball hoops and give the future `NBA stars of America' a chance to practice their three point shots when warmer weather comes to Howard County once again," a county press release reads.

Howard County has 80 salt trucks with plows ready to roll, officials said. Howard County residents will be able to monitor the progress of the trucks, which are connected to Global Positioning Satellites. (Information: www.co. ho.md.us.)

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