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Frederick County Hwy Ops Gets Ready For Sandy
Friday, October 26, 2012    
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Snow plows have been fitted to county dump trucks.

 


It’s being called "Frankenstorm," and it could bring us a lot of rain and possibly some snow late this weekend, and Monday and Tuesday. But whatever Mother Nature brings, Frederick County Highway Operations is ready, says Superintendent Bill Routzahn.

There are some reports that the county could see snow in the mountains, and heavy rain everywhere else. "So our trucks are ready to go if it does turn into snow," says Routzahn. "I’m thinking what the National Weather {Service} is thinking it’s {the snow} going to Western Maryland. Hopefully, it won’t make it this far, but if need be, we can switch over to snow operations if we had to. I think most of our issues will be trees and heavy rain."

Weather models project that Hurricane Sandy will come up the east coast, and could unite with a cold front coming from the west.   That could create a superstorm with rain and snow.

Routzahn says some of the county’s dump trucks have been fitted with snow plows, but that’s to remove debris from the roads.

As part of getting ready, Routzahn says his employees have been checking chain saws, in case trees fall on the road.

Routzahn says his crews have also been out removing trees, leaves and other debris from large drainage structures. He urges property owners to do the same. "You got a drainage pipe in front of your home and it starts clogging, there’s no way we’re going to be able to get to it," he says. "It might help us out by taking a fork or a shovel and cleaning debris away from their pipes. It might help them from getting flooded."

The Governor has declared a State of Emergency in Marylandwhich allows him to call out the National Guard, if necessary.

In a related story, Frederick County officials and the local Red Cross are urging citizens to get ready, in case the area receives a severe storm. That includes making a kit which has enough water for each member of the household for three days. The kit should include ready-to-eat non-perishable foods, a manual can opener, first-aid kit, flashlight and battery-powered radio with extra batteries, prescription and non-prescription medications, and copies of important documents.

Secondly, make a plan. Identify two places, one near your home, and another outside of the area in case you have to evacuate. And make plans for your pets.

Finally, stay informed. ALERT Frederick County is a direct link to emergency messages from Frederick County officials. You can sign up at www.FrederickCountyMD.gov/ALERT. As aways, listen to WFMD and WFRE to keep up to date.

If a weather Watch is issued, bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furnishings, hanging plants, bicycles, toys and garden tools. Anchor objects that can’t be brought inside. Close all windows and doors. Cover windows with storm shutters or pre-cut plywood. And fill up your motor vehicles.

If a Warning is issued, listen to the advice of local officials. Stay inside and try to limit time outside of a building. Do not use open flames such as candles and kerosene lamps as a source of light. If power is lost, turn off all appliances to reduce damage from a power surge when electricity is restored. Potomac Edison recommends to keep a light on during the outage so you’ll know when the electricity is back on.