Breaking news updates on snowstorm in region

BWI to stay closed till Monday

Elkridge sees 32 inches of snow

34,000 without power

February 06, 2010|By Baltimore Sun staff

Roof collapses in Southern Maryland

Updated 9:53 p.m.:

A roof at the St. John School in Hollywood Md., collapsed Saturday destroying six classrooms, the library, the computer lab and offices, said a spokeswoman with The Archdiocese of Washington.

A pastor discovered the collapse at about 4 p.m. when he went to hear confessions, said Susan Gibbs, the spokeswoman.

The school has two sections, one which was built in 1924 and the other in 1953. The newer part of the building was where the roof fell in also causing the walls to buckle. The roof was flat, so more susceptible to collapsing. "It's pretty significant damage," Gibbs said in a phone interview.

The school teaches kids from kindergarten to eighth grade, who will be sent to other schools in the area, Gibbs said. The roof on a storage warehouse in California, Md., also collapsed the Associated Press is reporting. A firefighter cut his hand in the incident, but no other injuries were reported.

by Andrea Walker

More Amtrak schedule changes for Sunday

Updated 5:43 p.m.:

Amtrak managed to run a reduced train service Saturday from Baltimore to Washington and New York, on a day when southbound I-95, the East Coast's main ground transportation artery, was totally blocked in Maryland for at least six hours.

Amtrak plans further service cuts on Sunday. Here's a preliminary list, with more changes expected:

The following service through Maryland has been canceled for Sunday, February 7

• Carolinian trains 79 and 80 will operate only between Raleigh and Charlotte with no alternate transportation between New York and Raleigh.

• Palmetto trains 89 and 90 are canceled in their entirety between New York and Savannah.

• Silver Service trains 97 and 98, operating between New York and Miami are canceled with no alternate transportation.Trains 91 and 92 will operate between Miami and Savannah only.

• Crescent trains 19 and 20, which operates between New York and New Orleans, are canceled with no alternate transportation.

Amtrak says passengers are encouraged to call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com for schedule information and train status updates.

By Paul West

Blizzard warnings lifts; storm not yet classified a blizzard

Updated 5:16 p.m.: The National Weather Service has lifted the blizzard warnings for the Baltimore area, which had been in effect for nearly 24 hours. A coastal flood advisory remains in effect for portions of Maryland that border the Chesapeake Bay until 10 p.m. tonight.

The possibility of minor flooding exists in areas of Harford, southern Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Charles, St. Mary's and Calvert counties, the Weather Service said.

Weather Service officials, still grappling with the question of whether the Storm of 2010 was the all-time largest on record in Baltimore or not, also have yet to declare the storm a blizzard. Officially, a blizzard is defined as a storm that contains large amounts of snow OR blowing snow, with winds in excess of 35 mph and visibilities of less than 1/4 mile for at least three hours.

By Paul West

BWI Airport to remain closed till Monday

Updated 5:01 p.m.: BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport will remain closed Sunday and is not expected to open until mid-day Monday at the earliest, Gov. Martin O'Malley said late Saturday afternoon.

The governor also said that the state of emergency, which he imposed Friday before the massive snowstorm began, also remains in effect.

Southwest Airlines has announced that it intends to resume flights to BWI, where it is the leading carrier, at mid-day on Monday.

By Michael Dresser

Neighborhood bands together amid storm

Updated 4:03 p.m.: Eugenie Jenkins awoke Saturday to a sickening discovery that, in hindsight, explained why her dog had been cowering and "totally freaked out" the night before. Part of a large tree in her Roland Park yard had fallen during the snow storm.

And with the wind blowing hard, the two surviving trunks looked ready to topple any second.

Good thing Jenkins' next-door neighbor is an amateur woodsman with experience felling trees in Maine. And good thing that neighbor had a chain saw handy Saturday.

Jim Melia is his name, and when he saw the situation he knew Jenkins was right to worry. The two tree sections, roughly 50 feet high, were leaning precariously toward Wickford Road, threatening several cars. Before long, other neighbors appeared to lend a hand.

But Melia couldn't just fire up the chain saw and yell, "Timber!" Not if he wanted to guide the tree away from car-lined Wickford and across desolate University Parkway instead. To do so, he needed ropes to pull on the tottering tree.

This is where the neighbors really joined forces. Melia supplied one rope. So did neighbor George Chang. A third rope came from yet another neighbor.

"We tied them all together to create enough tension to get this to go where we wanted it to go," Melia said.

"Really nice job," Chang said. "It fell right where it was supposed to fall."

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