Mayor details city's preparations for coming storm

February 09, 2010|By Michael Dresser | michael.dresser@baltsun.com | Baltimore Sun reporter

Noting that this is the "biggest two-day blizzard since 1922," Mayor Stephanie C. Rawlings-Blake today detailed the city's plans and preparations for the coming winter storm and the response to last weekend's event.

Saying "we need all hands on deck," Rawlings-Blake put a call out for contractors with any specialized equipment, such as small bulldozers, that can be used to clear narrower streets. The mayor said that available contractors should call the city hot line, at 410-396-5752.

The mayor identified 17 "attack zones" in the city, neighborhoods with smaller streets that haven't been plowed. She said city crews are focusing on secondary roads and neighborhood streets but will have to focus on primary and arterial roads again once the storm begins.

Every emergency call has been answered so far, said Rawlings-Blake.

The rotating closure of fire houses has been suspended, she said, and two emergency shelters — at Oliver Community Center and Pimlico Middle School — for residents displaced by fire or other disasters have been established. The mayor also said that the Housing Department will inspect about 400 structures that might be vulnerable to collapse. Rawlings-Blake said she has ordered cooperation between the Health Department and the MTA to ensure that the city's more than 800 dialysis patients can be services.

Rawlings-Blake also said that the Transportation Department is seeking additional snow-melting and moving resources from out of state.

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