Breaking news updates on Baltimore's storm

  • In southwestern Baltimore, Brenna Hope, 10, helps take snow off the buried family car on Millington Ave.
In southwestern Baltimore, Brenna Hope, 10, helps take snow… (Baltimore Sun photo by Karl…)
December 20, 2009

A snow day after all as schools close

Updated 5:43 p.m. Several school systems in the Baltimore area will be closed Monday as the region continues to dig out from this weekend's snow storm.

Public school systems in Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford and Cecil counties have announced cancellations, as have the systems in Kent, Montgomery and Prince George's counties.

As of 5 p.m., Baltimore City schools officials had yet to decide whether to open Monday, and no public announcements had been made by school systems in Carroll or Howard counties.

While Harford schools will be closed for students and teachers, school offices and the central office will open on time, according to the system's website. All evening activities are canceled.
By Scott Calvert

The shoppers are back

Updated 3:37 p.m.: Malls across the area opened up on time today after shutting down early on Saturday, what should have been one of the biggest shopping days of the season.

Consumers seemed ready to make up for the lost shopping day, packing parking lots across the region.

"My sense is that it is very busy," said Wendy Ellis, director of marketing and business development at Arundel Mills. "The parking lot is definitely full, but there is so much snow piled up that the parking is a bit creative."

She said she expects the days before Christmas to be busier than normal as because of Saturday's blizzard.

The crowds were also big at Towson Town Center. The mall opened at regular hours and will close at 7 p.m.

"Today is usually busy," said senior marketing manager Jessica Bloom. "Then when you add in the traffic there would have been yesterday is making for an even busier day."

By Andrea Walker

City reminds residents to shovel

Updated 2:42 p.m.:The city is now making robocalls reminding homeowners in neighborhoods were snow appears to be piling up to clear their sidewalk, a spokesman for Mayor Sheila Dixon said.

The city has used 4,446 tons of salt and spent $765,000 on the storm, spokesman for Scott Peterson said. The declaration of a state of emergency by Gov. Martin O'Malley allows the city to seek reimbursement for the expenditure.

Peterson said the city has seen an increase in 911 calls, but there had been no major fires or accidents as of 2 p.m. Sunday. Medic units were increased to 33 from the usual 23.
By Matthew Hay Brown

Warmer climates have to wait

Updated 12:52 p.m.: Cruise ship passengers eager to escape the snowy northeast for the warm, sunny Caribbean will have to wait a few hours longer than planned.

The departure of the Carnival Pride has been delayed until 8 p.m. today, to give passengers time to get to the port of Baltimore, officials said today. The seven-day cruise will travel to Port Canaveral, Fla. and the Bahamas.
By Sam Sessa

BWI now open, but officials urge patience

Updated 12:21 p.m.: BWI Thurgood Marshall International Airport is now open and fully operational, but officials are urging travelers to call their airlines before heading to the airport.

"They're basically regrouping after a total shutdown yesterday," said Paul Wiedefeld, head of the Maryland Aviation Administration. "Roughly about 50 percent of their flights are operational today. So they will be overbooked, they have to get their crews in from across the country, particularly the Northeast, and with the storm still playing out above us, there are still impacts on that."

Work crews cleared one of the airport's two main commercial runways at 9:40 p.m. Saturday, allowing the airport to reopen, and the other at 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

The reopening allowed the Chicago Bears to land at 10:45 p.m. Saturday. The team is scheduled to play the Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium at 4:15 p.m. Sunday.

"I'll be frank," BWI Director Paul Wiedefeld said. "If it had been the Pittsburgh Steelers, they'd still be going around and around up in the air, hoping to land. I'm not sure my workers would have worked quite as hard for Pittsburgh to land."
By Matthew Hay Brown

Emergency rooms are quiet for now

Updated 12:05 p.m.: Emergency rooms at city hospitals have been largely slow, with few snow-related injuries, officials said Sunday morning.

But hospitals could see an uptick in admissions later today, when more people begin to dig out, said Allison Eatough, spokeswoman for Baltimore Washington Medical Center.

"Last night, they were slower than usual," Eatough said. "They're just bracing for it today, when people get out and start shoveling."
By Sam Sessa

Advice for Ravens' fans

Updated 11:50 a.m.: With works crews still clearing the roads, officials are urging football fans to use public transportation to get to the Ravens game Sunday at M&T Bank Stadium. They announced overflow parking for travelers coming from north and south of the city.

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