What to do when snowplows cause damage to property


  • Betty Smith says Anne Arundel County snow-removal equipment dislodged this section of sidewalk in the 5200 block of Kramme Ave. in Brooklyn Park.
Betty Smith says Anne Arundel County snow-removal equipment… (Baltimore Sun photo by Kim…)
February 28, 2010|By Liz Bowie | liz.bowie@baltsun.com

The problem: How can residents report damage that might have been caused by county or city snow-removal equipment?

The back story: Construction vehicles moved a little bit more than snow on the 5200 block of Kramme Ave. in Brooklyn Park, said Betty Smith.

Smith said the equipment that dug out a big chunk of snow in front of her house dislodged a section of the sidewalk as well.

"It's in perfectly good shape," she said, but the slab has been displaced about 5 inches.

Smith hoped the slab could be replaced once most of the snow had melted. She said she called seven phone numbers trying to figure out how to report it.

"I thought they could just come with that same thing and put it back," she said. "I think if they moved it out, they should move it back."

Tracie Reynolds, a spokeswoman for the Anne Arundel County Department of Public Works, said that residents whose property has been damaged by county road crews while moving snow should send their claims to the Office of Risk Management, 2660 Riva Road, P.O. Box 6675, Annapolis 21401.

Watchdog is guessing that other readers in the area will also discover bashed curbs and other snow-removal scars, especially as warmer weather melts the icebergs on streets and roadways.

If you spot similar damage caused by snow-removal equipment in Baltimore, call 311, said city transportation spokeswoman Adrienne Barnes.

"Once we investigate and find that it was caused by city equipment, there will be no cost to the homeowner," she said.

In Baltimore County, public works spokesman David Fidler said residents should call the insurance office at 410-887-8402.

Carroll County often gets complaints about damage caused by snow-removal crews, said county spokeswoman Vivian Laxton.

"Mailboxes frequently get lost, especially in 4- to 5-foot drifts," she said. Residents may call the county's Bureau of Roads Operations at 410-386-6717. Incorporated municipalities do their own plowing, and residents of those areas should call their town halls, she said.

Harford County residents can call either the Division of Highways or the Office of Government and Community Relations, said county spokesman Bob Thomas.

"Once that information has been received, the Office of Risk Management does an assessment to determine whether the county was in fact at fault," Thomas said. The county will follow up with repairs or other action where deemed appropriate.

In Howard County, residents can report damage caused by snow-removal equipment by calling 410-313-7450, said county spokesman Kevin Enright.

Who can fix this: Donna Goins, division manager, Anne Arundel County Office of Risk Management. 410-222-7630.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.