5 Things We Learned From the Baltimore City Briefing on Snowstorm Prep

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snowAs snow started falling on Friday afternoon, you’re probably settling in with some blankets and TV ahead of this weekend’s epic storm. But the city workers tasked with snow removal and emergency operations are among the citizens that will still be working this weekend (along with doctors and nurses, police firefighters, journalists and others). Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and city officials took to the podium for a briefing on their preparations. Here’s what we learned:

Don’t Park on Emergency Routes The city is activating Phase II of its snow emergency plan at 6 p.m. That means cars parked on snow emergency routes have to be cleared from those roads. Some designated public parking garages and school parking lots are available for overflow. See that list here.

The Fleet Has Gathered The City has 250 pieces of its own equipment and 180 contractor plows at the ready, Rawlings-Blake said. Snow melters and other equipment may be called in as needed.

Plowing Ongoing Salt trucks have already been out, and the plows will be out as the roads begin to be covered with snow. The effort will be staffed around the clock in 12-hour shifts. But they aren’t going to go out if the snow and wind are too high. If your street isn’t plowed, that doesn’t mean it’s been forgotten, said DOT’s William Johnson. If you see a plow then it doesn’t get to your street, that means “We just had to pull back until it was safe to reinstitute our plowing operations,” he said.

Services Suspended City services will mostly come to a halt. The MTA has suspended services for only the fourth time in 40 years. The Charm City Circulator is also shutting down at 6 p.m. Street sweeping and trash collection are also off for the weekend, and drop-off locations are closed.

Students, Ready the Shovels Teams of students were trained in the fall to shovel. They will be tasked with helping elderly residents, and clearing public rights of way. The students are aware they may be contacted, but they won’t be venturing out immediately. “While we have this new initiative in place, they cannot start to do their work until the snow is finished,” Rawlings-Blake said.

Check out Baltimore City’s Snow website for full info.

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