From Schools To Roads To Utilities, Area Digs In

Preparing For The Worst

February 05, 2010|By Scott Calvert | Scott Calvert,

Welcome back, snow. We've been expecting you - with everything from brine-covered roads to "shoe grippers" to four-wheel-drive vehicles that can ferry doctors and nurses to area hospitals.

With up to 2 feet of snow in the forecast, the Baltimore region was bustling Thursday with pre-storm preparations.

People, as they always do, bought shovels and snowblowers and raided supermarkets. At least one entrepreneurial-minded man got himself a plow-mounted four-wheeler to earn extra money.

Some businesses went ahead and announced they would be closed today, while the federal government urged its agencies to let employees work from home.

Across Maryland, crews coated major roads with ice-melting goop, including a sugar beet molasses mixture in some spots. BGE got ready for power outages, and MARC prepared for an unusual lunchtime rush by adding train capacity.

For Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake, her first day in office featured an update on snow response plans: More than 150 trucks will plow the city's streets and scatter thousands of tons of salt.

As the storm blew toward the region, Gov. Martin O'Malley might have had the best advice of all: "Stay at home if you don't have to go out."

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