Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency across his state ahead of a severe winter storm expected to slam the Mid-Atlantic this weekend.
Hogan said the state of emergency would go into effect at 7 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 22, and that the State Highway Administration would begin pre-treating major highways starting the previous evening.
“This is predicted to be the worst storm our state has seen since ‘Snowmageddon’ in 2010,” Hogan said at a press conference held at the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. “Our first and main priority is keeping Marylanders safe and making sure they understand that all levels of government are working together to respond to this weather system.
The State Highway Administration would dedicate 2,700 vehicles and pieces of equipment to combat an expected 1 to 2 feet of snow. Crews will focus on clearing streets and do their best to be as efficient as possible, Hogan said, but cautioned that it could take days or even up to a week to clear out local roads. He urged all citizens to stock up on supplies to last several days.
The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a blizzard warning scheduled to go into effect at 3 p.m. on Jan. 22 through 6 a.m. on Jan. 24 for central and southern Maryland. A blizzard is defined as a snow storm that has sustained winds or frequent gusts of 35 mph or greater with snow or blowing snow reducing visibility to a quarter mile or less.
At press time, Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, and Charles County public schools all announced they would be closed on Jan. 22. Carroll County public schools will close 3 hours early. The University of Maryland-College Park announced the campus will be closed from Jan. 22 to Jan. 24. Towson University will on Jan. 23 and 24, and student move-in has been postponed until Jan. 25. The university will be open that day, but classes have been canceled and are set to begin Jan 26.