Dear Prince Georgians,
Yesterday, January 3, we experienced one of the largest snowstorms we have seen in years. I’m reaching out to share an update on where we are at in our snow removal operations, and what you can expect in the coming days.
As of 6:00 PM this evening, 85% of primary roads in the County are passable and 60% of residential roads are passable. We launched a full snow operation Sunday evening, in line with the weather forecast that showed the possibility of a large snowfall in our County and region. Due to the large number of cars on the roadways yesterday, there are many abandoned and disabled vehicles that crews have had to address. Additionally, we have received reports of hundreds of downed trees. County crews have been working around the clock to remove both so that those roads can be plowed.
Right now, the most challenging areas of the County are the rural areas in South County. We have a large volume of downed trees on power lines that make it difficult for our crews to clear roads there. In fact, when you exclude the rural tier of the County, 85% of residential streets became passable as of 6:00 PM today. We will be dedicating more crews to help those areas in South County. In addition, to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 staffing shortages within the Department of Public Works & Transportation (DPW&T), PGCPS maintenance crews will be working with DPW&T staff to clear residential streets around some of our schools. We are also continuing to work with the utility companies and contractors to remove trees from roadways and powerlines.
While we are dedicating more crews to help the rural areas of the County, our crews are still working in all areas of the County that have not been cleared. We brought in Bobcats today to supplement our snowplow trucks and help clear streets in residential areas. Crews are working throughout the night again, and DPW&T believes all residential streets will be passable by midday tomorrow if weather conditions remain stable. We please ask for your continued patience as we work to clear all roadways in the County. If you are travelling tomorrow morning, we continue to urge caution on roadways as temperatures will drop below freezing, and weather models indicate that we could have some freezing rain overnight.
I also want to provide a few quick reminders related to snow removal operations:
- Residents should wait 48 hours after snowfall has ended to report untreated roadways to 311. Snowfall ended in most parts of the County around 2:00 PM on Monday. PGC311 is open Monday-Friday, 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM.
- If you see a downed power line, please report it to 911 and please avoid the area until crews are able to arrive.
- If you see a downed tree, you can report it to 311 for removal.
- Those experiencing power outages should reach out directly to their utility company, if they have not already, to report the outage:
We want to thank all of our snow removal crews, who have continued working tirelessly since Sunday evening to clear our roads. I also want to thank Prince Georgians for your patience and understanding. Please know we are working as quickly as possible to make sure our roads are clear and safe.
We will continue to keep you updated on our progress via my Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as DPW&T’s Facebook and Twitter pages. We are also closely monitoring weather forecasts for Thursday evening and into Friday morning, where we may see additional freezing rain or snow. We will be sure to keep you updated on those forecasts and potential snow operations later this week as well.
Please continue to be safe and look out for each other.
Yours in service,
Prince George’s County Executive