It will give Frederick County residents on road & weather conditions.
Frederick, Md (KM) It was one year ago this month that Frederick County was hit by a blizzard which dumped more than 30-inches of snow. If that happens again, County Executive Jan Gardner says the county is ready. “If a major storm should hit, we will be turning the county’s homepage on the website into a severe weather communications center,” she says.
Gardner unveiled this new plan during her public information briefing on Tuesday. “There will be an update on road conditions and the weather. They’ll be maps and tools to find out who maintains your roads, as well as details on the status of county services, and photos of conditions across the county,” she says.
In addition to providing information, Gardner says there will be an opportunity for citizens to interact. “As we’ll offer a new user-friendly way to report concerns. If you need a fire hydrant cleared, your mailbox has been damaged, you want to report some other unsafe road condition, there’s a way to do that through the webpage,” says Gardner.
“This will allow someone to report a storm-related problem by location,” she says. “In fact, if you’re using your smart phone, the program can fill in the location for you because your phone will tell them where you are.”
The severe weather communications center was developed by the staff of the Inter-Agency Information Technology Division. Director and CEO Tom Dixon describes how this citizen portal will work “It asks for some basic information, your name, your e-mail address, so we can communicate back with you,” says IIT Division Director and CEO Tom Dixon. “It allows you to upload photos and give us detailed information about the problem you’re having. And then the e-mail will be sent to the Emergency Operations Center where it will be handled with all the other e-mails coming in.”
Gardner says it works with smart phones and tablets as well as desktop computers.
In another development, Chuck Nipe, Director of the Public Works Division, said the county is looking at a new way to clear roads of snow and ice. “We began implementing a brine pre-treatment strategy, and it’s being applied to 210-mile pilot areas,” he said. “Similar to what you see on the interstates, the brine is applied as a liquid and dries quickly and appears as parallel lines down the pavement. This treatment can be applied days in advance of a storm as long as no rain is in the forecast.”
The brine prevents the snow and ice from sticking to the road. If it rains before a snow or ice, the brine washes away.
The severe weather web address is www.FrederickCounty/Md.gov/snow. The phone number to call during severe weather for questions and concerns is 301-600-1564.
By Kevin McManus