Friday Night Winter Storm Update From the City Manager
From Suzanne Ludlow, City Manager of Takoma Park
So far, so good. Today’s first shifts of public works and police employees have been completed, and there were no major issues from the storm.
However, the weather predictions – which have been right so far – are that the strong winds and faster rate of snow are expected to begin around 1:00 AM and last to early Saturday afternoon. The predictions of snow totals remain in the 18-24” levels, with concern that the snow could become a little wetter, a little heavier.
Public Works crews are working tonight from 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM, using five to six trucks. Besides the road crews, we have a mechanic on each shift to fix problems with the plows as they occur, as they often do.
If the winds pick up so much that the drivers cannot see to drive, they will return to the Public Works yard or just pull over until they are able to proceed. Because we have so many narrow streets, speed humps, parked cars and other obstacles, the drivers must be extra cautious when visibility is low. We are fortunate to have drivers that are very familiar with the streets in the parts of the city to which they are assigned, so they can move right along most of the time.
Our Police Department reports that they have not had difficulty in driving around Takoma Park. No major problems have been reported by them.
Our Emergency Manager Ron Hardy has been monitoring regional operations and reports that Montgomery County has not yet opened any shelters, although they have facilities stocked with supplies if a shelter is needed. If power outages begin occurring, and shelters or warming centers are needed, we will be able to share information on options. Ron also reports that area hospitals are well-staffed.
Staff will confer Saturday morning to learn how Takoma Park fared through the night. I’ll give an update at that time.
Stay safe and warm!