Annapolis prepares for major winter storm


— Annapolis Mayor Michael Pantelides is asking all residents to begin preparing for Friday’s major winter storm.

The National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Watch from Friday afternoon through late Saturday evening. The National Weather Service is calling for deteriorating conditions Friday afternoon with the heaviest snow and gusty winds expected Friday night through Saturday night. Heavy snow and wind gusts of 40 mph are expected to cause near zero visibility at times with whiteout conditions. Coastal flooding is also possible.

Due to forecasted conditions and the possibility of power outages, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) urges residents to use the checklist below to be prepared. All supplies should last for 3 days:

• Water (1 gallon, per person, per day- more if needed for cleaning, showering,

• Non-perishable food items

• Medication

• Flashlights, no candles

• Battery powered radios

• Extra batteries

• Cash

• Blankets

• Personal Identification

Any power outages should be reported to BGE at 1-877-778-2222. Please use caution when operating generators. Generators should be operated outdoors in an area with ample ventilation.

While plans are subject to change as the storm approaches, the city is taking proactive measures and announcing that it will open the four parking garages at 3 p.m. Friday, January 22, to accommodate residents who live on snow emergency routes.

• Noah Hillman Parking Garage – 150 Gorman Street

• Gotts Court Parking Garage – 25 Northwest Street

• Knighton Parking Garage – 1A Colonial Avenue

• Park Place – 5 Park Place

If your street is posted as an Emergency Snow Route, vehicles must be moved off the roadway when a Level 2 or 3 emergency is declared. If you have no off-street parking available, park at one of the city-owned garages.

• Storm Phase/Level II (5″ to 8″ Snow) – Vehicular parking is banned on emergency snow routes; in advance of a Snow Emergency, residents will be directed to move their vehicles off Snow Emergency Routes to avoid towing and impound.

• Storm Phase/Level III (9″ to 14″ of Snow) – All vehicles will be prohibited from operating on any street within the corporate limits of Annapolis except snow equipment, emergency vehicles or others authorized by the mayor.

OEM continues to monitor the winter storm and will activate on Friday evening, remaining operational through the duration of the storm and its recovery efforts. The Annapolis Call Center will open at 3 p.m. on Friday for all non-emergency calls. Annapolis residents can call regarding the status of City operations and/or the anticipated inclement weather. The Annapolis Call Center number is 410-260-2211. Call 911 in an emergency.

In addition to the snow, Annapolis is expecting frigid temperatures in the 20s with wind chills in the teens. The City of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County have designated warming shelters to provide refuge for citizens who are in need of this service during nights of severe cold. Please contact the Annapolis Call Center for overnight accommodation referrals.

Remember once the snow begins that City Code, Section 14.24.010, requires the property owner to clear the public sidewalk of snow and ice within 3 hours after the snow or sleet has stopped falling, except when the snow or sleet stopped falling between 3 p.m. and 6 a.m. Then the snow/ice must be removed from the walk before 11 a.m. Violation of this code requirement is subject to a $25.00 fine. Also, uncover and clear areas around fire hydrants and storm drain inlets. While it helps identify hydrants for firefighters, it can also help you guard against flooding. If the snow melts and can’t flow away, it could cause street icing and basement flooding.

Check frequently, as all updated information will be posted. You can also call the Office of Emergency Management during business hours at 410-216-9167.