Maryland prepares for approaching winter storm

Photo: The Associated Press

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP/WJLA) - Maryland is preparing for the approaching winter storm.

For snow plow driver Thomas Hurley, prepping for a snow storm doesn’t mean a trip to the grocery store.

“When it starts snowing, we start working,” he says.

Hurley normally gets off at 4 p.m., but knows he’ll be on the clock all night and then some.

Hurley says he’s looking forward to Wednesday night’s snow fall. He says it’s more fun to plow snow than to just spread salt, as long as cars on the road are courteous.

“The way the snow is going to be tonight, we’ll probably have to do a train, you know, so we’ll block traffic up for quite a bit,” he says.

Hurley is one in an army that will be mobilized. More than 300,000 tons of road salt has already been spread, but the salt domes have been replenished.

“We’re ready to go. We have enough salt to attack this storm statewide. Right now we have 250,000 tons of salt.”

A state emergency has already been declared across Maryland. Gov. Martin O'Malley is urging residents to prepare for 24 hours of nasty, wet and icy weather. He gave a briefing on preparations the state is making for a winter storm that is expected to arrive in Maryland Wednesday evening.

O'Malley says the power grid that supplies the state with electricity is experiencing an extra burden from cold temperatures, and he's urging residents to conserve power. The state has been in touch with utility companies, which have been bringing in crews in preparation of power outages.

The governor also is recommending people avoid driving after 10 p.m. Wednesday, when storm is expected to start.

Hurley says he’s taking the forecast seriously.

“We can handle it. I mean, snow is always a problem, but that’s what we’re here for.”