Another 24 hours has gone by, and that 24 hours was well spent by your
County Government. Cleanup crews were again out in force today, working
to clear hazardous locations and improve specific spots deemed critical
for public safety. Progress is being made every hour, but there is
still A LOT of work to be done. I want to thank you again for your
continued patience as we work through this monumental task.
Today I spent a good deal of time touring Historic Ellicott City. As
many of you know, some of the older buildings in this area had
structural problems due to the weight of the snow on rooftops. I felt
it was important that I see this damage firsthand. The merchants and
citizens I spoke with today showed exactly what I have been seeing all
week -- concerns about the problems this snowfall has caused and a
strong resiliency to get through it.
Businesses in Historic Ellicott City have been hit especially hard by
this recent weather, which came during the height of the Valentine's
Day shopping season. Because of the week of lost business, we are
extending Valentine's Day for the entire next week. Small, local
businesses like those along Main Street are critical to our community,
and we hope you use this "extra" week to enjoy shopping and dining at
lcoal stores and restaurants. To help make the area more accessible,
Main Street will be closed from 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sunday for snow
removal; and to encourage shoppers to visit these establishments,
parking in Historic Ellicott City on Sunday and Monday will be free.
Police Chief McMahon still reminds me every time we talk to continue to
push this message to drivers: use extreme caution and drive slowly.
Large snow piles have reduced sight distances at many intersections;
many travel lanes are narrower than normal; and some neighborhoods
still need additional snow clearing work. Over the coming days, we will
transition our efforts to addressing these concerns. This work will
temporarily disrupt travel on some County roads over the coming days.
In addition, please be especially cautious of pedestrians who may be
forced to walk in the roadway as many sidewalks are buried under mounds
Finally, I'm asking for your assistance. As you know, our children have
been out of school for the past week and in order to get our schools
open and kids back in their classrooms, we need to make sure that bus
stops and walking routes to school are clear. I know many of you have
probably shoveled enough snow to last you a lifetime, but if we work
together with our neighbors, we can accomplish this task.
Thank you for your continued patience and cooperation as we dig out from this historic winter.
Here are some additional updates and other resources:
* Howard County community centers and parks will be closed on Sunday, February 14.
* County libraries will be open on Sunday, February 14.
* Residential trash and recycling collection will begin again on Monday, February 15, and follow the normal collection schedule.
* Howard Transit service will resume Sunday, February 14. While efforts
will be made to run regular routes, some delays and/or detours may be
unavoidable. For additional details, check http://www.howardtransit.com
* Please clear the area around fire hydrants near you that are covered
with or obstructed by snow. To find a fire hydrant near your home, use
this unique online tool: http://gis.howardcountymd.gov/GNearestFH/GNearestFHMap.asp
* If a plow has caused snow to block your driveway and you need assistance, please ask neighbors, family or friends to help.
* If you are concerned about the structural integrity of your roof,
please review the following document compiled by our Department of
Licenses, Inspections and Permits. (http://howardcountymd.gov/portaldocs/snow_load_warning.pdf
* Remember to clear snow away from any furnace/appliance vents.
* And, as always, if you have a true emergency, please call 911.
Again, thank you for your patience during this time, and please share this with family, friends and neighbors.