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Blizzard of ’16 Closes MoCo Government, Area Schools for Monday




As the big dig out continues in the aftermath of the Blizzard of ’16, which dumped more than two-feet of snow on the Germantown area officials are still asking residents to remain off the county roads so the crews can clean up. Montgomery County announced it will extend its declaration of General Emergency through midnight on Monday, January 25. Montgomery County Government will be closed on Monday. Essential personnel must report as scheduled. Government facilities, other than public safety facilities, will be closed.


Montgomery County Public Schools and all administrative offices are closed Monday, Jan 25 due to emergency weather conditions. All school, childcare and community activities in school buildings are canceled. MCPS are also closed Tuesday, Jan 26 due to emergency weather conditions. All school and community activities in school buildings are canceled. A decision about administrative offices and childcare in school buildings for Tuesday will be made by 6 p.m. on Monday. Montgomery County College will be closed tomorrow, Monday, Jan. 25 due to the Blizzard. At least two Germantown area private schools will be closed Monday. Mary of Nazareth School in Darnestown is closed, as is The Barnesville School in Barnesville. The BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown will be closed on Monday, Jan. 25. Due to the snow. All Montgomery County Public Libraries will be closed on Monday. MNCPPC – Montgomery parks has announced that all park facilities will be closed and all programs and events cancelled tomorrow, Monday, January 25. Montgomery County is working 24/7 on emergency snow operations. Residents are urged to stay home so crews can clear the roads and public safety and emergency personnel can reach those in critical need.


With this historic storm, the priority is to first clear 1000 lane miles of emergency and primary roads. Only after those roads are finished will the road crews get into neighborhoods. After primary roads are cleared, crews will begin to clear the 4000 lane miles of neighborhood roads. Streets will be passable but will not be cleared to bare pavement. Montgomery County Highway Services has more than 675 pieces of snow removal equipment working to clear the roads. MCDOT Highway Services tweeted earlier that they won't be plowing neighborhood roads until late Sunday evening or early Monday. A unique challenge with this storm is that in many places snow cannot just be pushed to the side, but must be hauled out. Large drifts and winds and below freezing temperatures mean even cleared roads will likely refreeze overnight. Recovery will be a multi-day event. “Now that the snow has ended, our efforts shift to clean-up and snow removal,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “County crews will continue to work around the clock until we have completed our efforts.” There will be no County recycling or trash pick-up on Monday. Residents should not take their trash cans and recycling bins to the curb. MC311, the County’s informational call center will remain open around-the-clock for the duration of the snow storm and clean-up for residents with questions. Contact MC311 by phone at 3-1-1 or 240-777-0311, or visit www.MC311.com. The County urges Montgomery County residents to clear snow from sidewalks in front of their homes as is possible. Any enforcement for now of sidewalk snow removal will be reasonable and follow common sense. MCFRS reminds residents who are able to shovel out areas around their nearest fire hydrants. In some cases, hydrants may be snow covered and if needed in an emergency might take precious minutes to shovel out. It is recommended that three-feet of snow on both sides of the fire hydrant be cleared.


Residents are reminded that shoveling, even small accumulations of snow can be strenuous. This massive snowfall will make shoveling a challenge for many residents. MCFRS offers a number of good tips when it comes to shoveling. Limit shoveling to only a few minutes at a time, shovel smaller amounts and take frequent breaks. Listen to your body and STOP if you feel pain or experience any warning signs of a heart attack. Symptoms of a heart attack may include dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, fainting, nausea as well as shoulder, neck and arm pain. Call 911 immediately if you believe you have a medical emergency. If using a snow blower, keep hands and feet away from the motor and moving parts. Even if you're just outside your home, keep a cell phone with you in the case of emergency (such as a fall, cardiac emergency, etc.). With windows and doors closed, people inside the home may not be able to hear cries for help. Slips and falls are winter's most common injuries. Use sand, salt or an ice-melt on walkways. Shovel your sidewalk and walkways. And use patience and caution when walking: take smaller steps and keep your center of gravity over your feet.

Photos by Germantown Pulse.

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