Montgomery County officials are taking precautions and warning residents to brace for a possible blizzard and a foot of snow this weekend.
According to a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, Howard Silverman, temperatures
on Friday are predicted to stay below 30.
The NWS issued a blizzard watch, which will begin on Friday at noon and will continue until 6 p.m.
on Saturday. The watch statement said residents should expect high wind as well as power
Silverman said winds are expected to reach 20 to 30 mph, with wind
gusts between 30 to 40 mph.
Conditions are expected to clear up by Sunday, with temperatures in the mid 30s
Director of Public Works Craig Simoneau said his department will be using all available personnel
for the street crews and will be doing two shifts for 24 hours starting Friday.
“We already have two shift rosters getting filled up,” said Simoneau.
According to Simoneau, the County has already contacted emergency contractors to bring
resources from outside the state in case the weather conditions worsen. If the snow rises more
than two feet, the contractors will be called into action.
Simoneau also said that crews will also be on call to oversee the operating water tanks and
valves and to respond to freeze calls and water main breaks.
Maryland Department of Transportation spokesperson Charlie Gischlar said the
highways will be pretreated tonight in the D.C. suburbs with salt brine solution.
“That helps us because when the big storm comes, it prevents that initial bonding of snow and
ice from forming,” said Gischlar.
Pepco spokesperson Bob Hainley said the company is preparing for the storm
by taking stock of all of its personnel.
“We have 150 line men, and we have another 250 contracted line personnel, and then we have
another 200 tree crews who are working on the system. Pepco is monitoring that forecast and
will have those crews ready to restore any outages,” Hainley said.
Hainley also said advised customers and residents stay clear of any work sites and to call the
company for power outages.
Interfaith Works’ Community Vision Program in Silver Spring includes a warming center and is
open during the day when temperatures are below 32 degrees, according to Charlotte Garvey,
spokesperson. The address for the Interfaith Works Community Vision
Program is 8210 Dixon Ave. Homeless persons in need of warmth or shelter
may call 301-585-4471for information about the Community Vision Program.