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MDOT SHA Activates Emergency Operations Center

January 12th, 2019 by WCBC Radio

The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration (MDOT SHA) has activated its Emergency Operations Center and positioned crews across Maryland to monitor and respond to winter precipitation forecasted today through tomorrow. A winter storm warning is now in effect throughout the State with higher snow accumulations than previously forecasted. Crews pretreated roads with salt brine and have readied snow removal equipment and supplies for rapid deployment.

“MDOT SHA encourages motorists to keep a sharp eye on the weather conditions and plan accordingly for afternoon and evening travel; we urge motorists to limit travel so that crews can safely treat roadways effectively,” said Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administrator Greg Slater. “We will be working through the night and through the duration of the storm to keep the roads safe.”

Forecast models call for most of Maryland to be affected by the storm, with heavier accumulations in southern Maryland and the lower Eastern Shore. The storm’s arrival on a weekend when traffic volumes are significantly lower than work days is positive, but drivers are still reminded to treat the storm seriously, stay safe and remain vigilant if travel is necessary.

With pretreating complete by Saturday morning, crews will begin staging Saturday afternoon and evening, so a rapid deployment can be implemented once precipitation begins. MDOT SHA and contractor crews will continue to work until all lanes and shoulders are clear. Motorists are encouraged to limit travel and get errands complete before the storm begins late Saturday.

MDOT SHA has launched the Statewide Transportation Operations Resources Map (STORM) web application for citizens to track MDOT SHA winter operations in real-time with a 30-minute history. For access to MDOT SHA winter fact sheets and other valuable information, click here.

Additionally, MDOT SHA will pre-position heavy-duty wreckers in strategic locations known to be challenging to commercial vehicles. Should a tractor trailer become disabled, the wreckers can respond immediately and free the truck, so crews can continue to treat the pavement efficiently and effectively. Should the storm produce six or more inches of snow, MDOT SHA offers certain park-and-rides to truckers to ride out the storm. Click here for a list of locations. 

For motorists who must ravel, “Take It Slow on Ice and Snow,” and remember that speed limits are set for ideal (dry) conditions. Drivers are also reminded to not pass snow plows. The safest place to be is in the back of a snow plow or plow trains.

Motorists are urged to monitor the forecast as threat levels can change throughout the day and visit for real-time travel alerts and conditions. Customers may also follow MDOT SHA on Twitter @MDSHA and “like” us on Facebook.

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