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Sneaky Weekend Storm Dumps a Foot of Snow on Germantown

It was supposed to be a quick 3- to 5-inches of snow on Saturday afternoon/evening. Then it was downgraded to 1- to 3-inches, and then 24-hours later it was bumped back up to 4- to 6-inches over Saturday and Sunday. In the end, the weekend’s snowstorm dropped 12-inches of snow on the Germantown area, and most of Montgomery County, over January 12 and 13, and closed schools on Monday morning, January 14.

To say that this storm over-performed is an understatement. Not many Germantown residents were thinking that this storm would leave a foot of snow on roads and driveways, and force Montgomery County government to close down giving County employees and students a three-day weekend. The storm also closed Public Libraries throughout the County and Montgomery County Parks, as well as forced the cancellation of events at BlackRock Center for the Arts on Saturday night.

According to the National Weather Service reports that the storm officially dropped 12.5 inches of snow in Germantown over the weekend. While some areas of Damascus got slightly more (12.7 inches) and another measured slightly less (12.4 inches), and Montgomery Village received an even 10 inches of snow.

The County also announced that County Executive Marc Elrich’s Operating Budget Forum originally scheduled for tonight at the BlackRock Center for the Arts at in Germantown has been rescheduled to the Thursday, Jan. 31, snow date.

The Montgomery County Board of Education has also canceled the Operating Budget Public Hearing which was planned for tonight. That hearing has been rescheduled for January 16.

Perhaps, more importantly, to Germantown area residents the snow has also forced the cancellation of the Germantown Area High School Boundary Study Meeting planned at Northwest High School tonight. No word on a new date for that meeting, however, there two other meetings planned; on Thursday, Jan. 17 at Seneca Valley High School, and Wednesday, Jan. 23 at Clarksburg High School. The meetings will last two hours, from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

Montgomery County reminds residents that State-maintained roads, which are the numbered roads in the County, are cleared by the Maryland State Highway Administration. The County’s Department of Transportation clears emergency and primary routes before it begins clearing neighborhood streets. Neighborhood streets are not cleared to bare pavement but are made passable. Residents are asked to remain patient. There are approximately 1,000 lane miles of primary (arterial roads connecting subdivisions or business districts) and secondary roads (main collector streets through subdivisions) which are continuously treated with salt and sand and kept in “bare pavement” condition. Once major roads are clear, crews turn their attention to making streets passable for the more than 4,100 lane miles of neighborhood streets.

County residents are required by law to clear sidewalks in front of and alongside their properties within 24 hours of the end of a snowstorm. Everyone is encouraged to help seniors or others who may not be physically able to shovel. Remember not to shovel snow over fire hydrants.

MCFRS asks that residents “Adopt a Fire Hydrant.” When clear the sidewalks and driveways, firefighters ask residents for help in clearing around nearby fire hydrants. Make a point to shovel hydrants out with a three-foot diameter around the hydrant. More importantly clear a path to your door, so if an emergency need arises you can get out and firefighters and medics can get can get in to assist.

Parking lot managers are reminded not to block disability parking spaces and their adjacent striped areas when removing snow from commercial or residential parking lots.

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