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For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 6, 2022

Winter Storm Advisory has been issued for Montgomery County for tonight, Thursday, Jan. 6, and will be in effect from 9 p.m. through 7 a.m. on Friday. The forecast calls for between two to four inches of snow by daybreak.  

The Montgomery County Department of Transportation (MCDOT) storm operations crews will begin mobilizing at 9 p.m. Thursday. The Storm Operations Center will activate at 10 p.m. to respond to requests for service from emergency agencies. Much like the storm event earlier this week, MCDOT’s priority will be to maintain access to public health facilities on major roadways. 

“We are asking our community to avoid driving during the storm if possible. If you have to travel, please monitor the weather and be safe and smart when traveling,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Our crews will be out on the roads. We want all travelers to give them plenty of room to operate and to be patient with snow- and ice-clearing activities.” 

County snowplows have rubber-tipped blades that will allow main roads to be plowed early. Residential roads are not typically plowed until about three inches of snow accumulate and major roads are sufficiently clear. With the added challenge of a reduction in available snowplow drivers regionally, snow-clearing may take longer than normal. 

“Due to a high number of COVID-19 cases, the shortage of snowplow operators and contractors available to address this storm event is still prevalent,” said Richard Dorsey, MCDOT chief of Highway Services. “We will focus on keeping major roads clear and ensuring access to public safety and health facilities. We will treat residential roads after these main roads are cleared and once about three inches of snow has accumulated. Residents may need to wait longer than typical for neighborhood streets to be treated and should visit the County County’s Snow Portal for up-to-date snow-clearing information after 10 p.m. tonight.” 

MCDOT has seven regional depots that are responsible for clearing snow along 220 plow routes on more than 5,200 lane miles of County roads. The Maryland State Highway Administration clears all State roads in the County (those are roads designated by numbers).  

“We are ready for the storm,” said MCDOT Director Chris Conklin. “Our operators are on standby and will begin clearing as early and as often as possible, but it may take us a little longer, with the staff shortage, to reach all streets that experience significant snow accumulation.”  

Montgomery County’s Ride On bus service is expected to operate on a normal schedule on Friday. Riders should expect that there may be some weather-related delays and should be on alert for any announcements about service changes in response to weather conditions.  

More information about snow removal including who plows specific streets, snow-removal status and service requests is available online here. For storm clearing effort updates, follow @MCDOTNow on Twitter.  

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Release ID: 22-012
Media Contact: Emily DeTitta 240-372-228
Categories: Public Works, Snow, Transportation