O'Malley Signs Emergency Declaration as Snowstorm Rolls In

ANNAPOLIS (Feb. 05, 2010) - Governor Martin O'Malley this morning issued a Declaration of Emergency as another major winter storm took aim on Maryland and the Middle Atlantic region. The declaration will give the state flexibility to activate the Maryland National Guard and provide assistance to local emergency managers.

"Maryland National Guard Units are prepared to assist local emergency managers and first responders around the state, and have already begun deployment to throughout Maryland," Governor O'Malley said. "We urge residents to avoid driving except for the most urgent reasons. If drivers stay off the roads it will help the dedicated state and local highway crews clear the rods in a safe and efficient manner."

The National Weather Service is predicting snowfall amounts of up to two feet in northern and central Maryland, with somewhat less in western Maryland and a possible mix of rain, sleet and accumulating snows on the lower Eastern Shore. This snowfall is expected to be as serious as the December storm that left upwards of 20 inches of snow on much of Maryland.

The National Guard has more than 100 Humvees and 5-ton trucks and military ambulances ready to respond. Maryland SHA and MdTA have 2,400 pieces of equipment and 2,700 personnel available to respond. State officials monitor storm from SHA's Statewide Operations Center in Hanover where it has centralized communications and access to over 150 traffic cameras located around the state.

Governor O'Malley also ordered a liberal leave policy for all state employees effective at noon today.

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