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Gov. O'Malley: You won't see pavement until Friday

Gov. Martin O'Malley just said that every county in Maryland is currently experiencing blizzard-like conditions and that while state crews have so far been able to keep one lane passable on state highways, there should be no expectation that most Maryland roads will be plowed to bare pavement until at least Friday afternoon.

"We are all accustomed and desire to see our county and city crews ... being able to scrape the snow down to the pavement. That will not be a possibility over the next 72 hours," O'Malley said. "The best we can do is send the plows down, with the plow up to make them passable by tapping down, and tramping down, that snow to make it passable for the Humvees and the emergency crews."

Speaking at the state's emergency operations center, O'Malley said nearly 30,000 homes across Maryland have lost power and that that number is expected to rise significantly. He also said that emergency workers are dealing with a rising number of roof collapses, and have seen a significant number of "snow blower" injuries.

O'Malley, who had warned Tuesday that he would not hesitate to close state highways to prevent truck accidents that endangered other drivers during the weekend storm, has not yet ordered any such road closures since the snow started falling on Tuesday, despite several accidents, including ones involving tractor trailers on I-270 and I-95.

O'Malley spokesman Shaun Adamec said Maryland State Police and highway administration officials have the authority to shut down certain roadways. But he backed away from the governor's tough talk on Tuesday, saying that shutting down entire state highway systems can have enormous regional implications.

"If we shut down, and Delaware and Pennsylvania and Virginia do not, it would make through travel very difficult for trucks already on the road. We have strongly encouraged people to stay off the roads and they have largely complied."

The governor himself has spent a significant amount of time on state highways during recent storms. He has made the near 100-mile round trip from the governor's mansion in Annapolis to the state's emergency operations center in Reisterstown, northwest of Baltimore, almost daily. He arrived there in his state-issued Hybrid SUV before noon on Wednesday wearing a plaid shirt, winter coat and jeans.

O'Malley said it was impressive that there had been no fatal accidents so far on state roads, and that he wanted to keep it that way.

By Aaron C. Davis  |  February 10, 2010; 1:09 PM ET
Categories:  Aaron C. Davis  
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Comments

O'Malley is a waste. He is a closet conservative.

Posted by: linda_521 | February 10, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Come over to P.G Co., we wont ever see pavement

Posted by: FrankMonzon | February 10, 2010 4:10 PM | Report abuse

Amazing ... in Virginia they have already started plowing to the pavement and salting - and the people of Virginia did not just get a "lashing" at a news conference from their Governor - like I believe we just did in Maryland by our Gov at a press conference an hour or so ago; and closing the state highways would not only have been a crazy commerce decision - but a re-election buster if trucks already on the roads could not get their goods to Maryland to restock our shelves.

Anyway, I do want to say thank you to Prince George's County officials and all of the men and women who have put their lives on the line to help us during this historic storm - I live in Fort Washington, and I have seen pavement; I was even able to get into the office yesterday, and also visit my mother in DC to make sure things were okay for her. I really think our county officials have done an amazing job.

Posted by: EIEAR | February 10, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Our road crews in Charles County did a tremendous job in clearing our roads quickly during both the recent storms. Kudos to the County Public Facilities crew and their contractors. I've got bare pavement on my road just hours after the storm.

Posted by: pcomfort1 | February 10, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Angry O'Malley lectures even angrier electorate on expectations - yeah...that will get him re-elected. Arrogrant.

Posted by: dftcalibur | February 10, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

It's odd to me that the state won't close the roads here. In Colorado the state will routinely close hundreds of miles of roads on the eastern plains and in the mountains when they are impassable. Sometimes they are closed for a day or more.

Posted by: wharfy | February 10, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Hey, this is a huge storm. Not seeing pavement for a couple of days is totally reasonable. People that don't have vehicles that are capable of driving on anything but bare pavement shouldn't go out. Get some decent snow tires people! Bare pavement shouldn't be an expectation!

Posted by: CapitalTruck1 | February 10, 2010 9:35 PM | Report abuse

"Bare pavement" is a straw man. No one expects bare pavement after several FEET of snow, but they DO expect a visit from plows within 48 hours. My street in Balt City went unplowed AT ALL until Sunday. If O'Malley spent more time planning on the possibility of a bad snow storm instead of trying to spare death row killers, maybe the citizens wouldn't be suffering so much. The fact is that MOM ran to champion his pet causes, and taking care of the rank and file MD citizen wasn't one of them. He makes me sick.

Posted by: gbooksdc | February 10, 2010 11:22 PM | Report abuse

First of all, let me say that I don’t expect bare pavement but I live in PG County and my street hasn’t been plowed from the 1st storm and for me to turn on the TV and hear O’Malley say “Stop already—it’s not going to happen anytime soon” really pisses me off!

Posted by: MM111 | February 10, 2010 11:35 PM | Report abuse

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