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UPDATE: Snow in Montgomery County: Winter Storm Winds Down

Storm warning lifted; SHA continues to urge caution on roads.

Update, 5 p.m.: 

Snow emergency responses wound down, as the National Weather Service canceled the winter storm warning for the Washington metropolitan region Wednesday afternoon.

The Maryland State Highway Administration urged motorists to continue to drive with caution, especially after sundown as visibility drops and roads could freeze. SHA encouraged drivers to dial 511 or go to www.MD511.org for traffic, weather alerts and road conditions. Road conditions, live traffic cameras and a variety of information to help with travel decisions and planning are available at www.roads.maryland.gov, SHA said in a news release.

The Montgomery County government said its 311 call center would close at 7 p.m. and reopen at 6 a.m. Thursday.

Pepco reported few outages at the height of the snowstorm.

By afternoon, photos of snowy and slushy scenes came in from across the county, including:

  • Chevy Chase
  • Gaithersburg
  • Potomac
  • Silver Spring
  • Wheaton

Meanwhile, Rockville’s operations maintenance superintendent explained how road crews used something you can drink as part of snow removal on city streets.

Update, 11 a.m.:

State Highway Administration urges drivers to stay home

The best advice for drivers today is to . For those who need to drive, SHA is urging motorists to slow down, use caution and increase the distance between your car and the driver ahead of you.

If you are on the roads today, a Wheaton driving school offered tips for safe driving.

Metro

Metro is operating on a normal weekday schedule Wednesday. MetroAccess service and certain Metro commuter bus routes have been canceled, and RideOn buses are experiencing delays.

Parking

All county parking garages are open without charge and will remain free until 7 a.m. Thursday. Parking at meter spaces on county roads is also free until 7 a.m. Thursday.

Trash and recycling

Montgomery County-provided recycling and trash collections are canceled for Wednesday. If you normally receive Wednesday recycling or trash service, your items will be picked up on Thursday. Remaining service this week will slide back a day. Paper recycling carts needing repairs will still be picked up on Friday.

The Shady Grove Transfer Station and Processing Facility is closed today.

For questions or concerns about county-provided collection call the Montgomery County Customer Service Center at 311 (out-of-county: 240-777-0311, TTY: 301-251-4850).

Schools and government

County schools and government offices remain closed Wednesday. Non-emergency federal employees will be granted excused absences.

Recreation facilities

Montgomery County Recreation facilities are closed Wednesday and all MCR programs and activities are canceled. Community & Neighborhood Centers, Senior Centers and Indoor Pools are closed.

All Montgomery Parks facilities are closed and all classes and programs are cancelled Wednesday.

Click here for more weather-related information from Montgomery County.

Original post, 5 a.m., Wednesday, March 6:

Montgomery County prepared Tuesday for what forecasters predict could be the region’s first significant snowfall in more than two years.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Montgomery County for midnight Wednesday through 3 a.m. Thursday.

The storm was expected to begin as rain late Tuesday before becoming heavy, wet snow by Wednesday afternoon, making for a potentially “sloppy, snowy evening rush with increasing winds,” WJLA reported.

Montgomery County could see 6 inches to a foot of snow, The Washington Post’s “Capital Weather Gang” blog predicted.

“This storm will most likely end Washington’s longest streak on record without a snowstorm of at least two inches, which has lasted for the last 769 days. It should be the biggest snowstorm since Commutageddon, on January 26, 2011,” the blog said.

The potential for heavy snow and strong winds led Pepco to make robocalls to customers Tuesday saying the utility was “preparing and encourage our customers to prepare as well.”

County Council President Nancy Navarro posted a message from the utility on her Facebook page that said, “Pepco is preparing for the worst of the forecasts.”

“We have more than 450 overhead line contractors already working on the system and available, along with over 300 tree contractor crews actively performing reliability enhancement tree trimming work, in addition to preparing for restoration work,” the utility reported on its website.

The message encouraged customers to report outages and keep away from and report downed wires by calling 1-877-PEPCO-62 (1-877-737-2662), following the prompts, and asking for a call back to confirm that power has been restored.

Customers also may report outages at pepco.com.

Live or sparking wires, especially those across roadways, may be reported by calling 911, the county government said in a news release. For downed trees on public property, call 311. Trees that have fallen on utility lines, should be reported to utilities at:

  • Baltimore Gas and Electric: 877-778-2222.
  • First Energy/Potomac Edison (Allegheny Power): 1-800-255-3443 (Allegheny).
  • Pepco: 1-877-737-2662.

Other important numbers:

  • For emergencies, call 911.
  • For non-emergencies, contact Montgomery County Government at 311 or 240-777-0311.
  • Residents concerned about the safety and well-being of children, the elderly or adults with disabilities should call the county’s Crisis Center at 240-777-4000.
  • Other utilities:
    • Washington Gas: 1-800-752-7520.
    • Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission: 1-800-828-4002. 

For storm updates: 

Municipalities are preparing for the storm. The cities of Gaithersburg and Rockville both declared snow emergencies, with parking restrictions and snow removal requirements for residents.

Bob203 March 06, 2013 at 02:05 PM
This is not that bad compared to Minneapolis, MN we got 13" of snow.
Sean R. Sedam March 06, 2013 at 04:04 PM
@Bob203: You do snow right in Minneapolis. Here in the DC metro are ... not so much. I hope we remember how to handle it. Be safe out there, folks!
Joe Galvagna March 06, 2013 at 04:37 PM
Oh great more weeks of no power from Pepco. I thought King Obama had cut out all snow because of sequestration! Generator sales will go through the roof again. I think Pepco has an interest in generator sales. Too bad they donor have some to provide power to neighborhoods when power goes out DAA!
Sean R. Sedam March 06, 2013 at 05:20 PM
Comment deleted for violating our Terms of Use: http://gaithersburg.patch.com/terms
Joe Thomas March 07, 2013 at 03:43 AM
Did you lose power? I doubt it. Clearly someone who is talking out of his..........
LeszX March 07, 2013 at 01:28 PM
All that hype - but when it comes to the actual event, not much there. "Snowquester" proves to be a very prescient name.
Matt March 07, 2013 at 03:26 PM
I think the forecasters that claimed we would get 7-12" of snow, (and we got 0") should be furloughed too.

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