The Blizzard of 2016 has left the Mid-Atlantic and for the next few days we’ll be digging ourselves out of nearly two feet of snow (although with the winds, there are drifts that are much higher). The Twinbrook neighborhood has crews of shovelers and blowers working to clear homes and cars and City of Rockville crews are plowing streets. The major streets in Twinbrook, such as Twinbrook Parkway and Viers Mill Road, are open to one or two lanes but they’re not back to normal and I wouldn’t venture outfor another day unless it’s an emergency. Minor streets vary significantly–some have a passable lane, others were plowed yesterday and now have a layer of snow. But even if you could get out, there isn’t any place to go. Most stores and restaurants remain closed because their parking lots need to be cleared and they’ll soon be faced with the problem of figuring out where to put all that snow. After 2010’s blizzard, I remember a mountain of snow at Trader Joes that didn’t disappear until late March–becoming ever dirtier over time that by the end, it looked like coal.
It’s difficult to get local information and the best source I’ve found is Twitter. To see what’s happening, use hashtags #blizzard2016, #Rockville, or #RKV or follow @Rockville411, @MontgomeryCoMD, @MDSHA, @WMATA, or @DrGridlock.
If you want to take your kids sledding, you’ll probably want to walk to your nearest park if it has a hill (Rockville Central produced a Google Map with suggestions ages ago). The best one is at the Rockville Civic Center, which has a famous sledding hill near Glenview Mansion. Montgomery County Parks has a list of approved sledding sites in their parks.
A couple reminders from the City of Rockville:
The Department of Public Works is urging patience and preparation on the part of residents. Heavy snowfall may require crews to make multiple passes to ensure roads are passable. Depending on snowfall amounts, it may take days to clear all city streets.
Rockville requires that snow be removed from sidewalks, steps, driveways, parking spaces and similar paved area for public use within 48 hours after a snowfall of three to 10 inches, and within 72 hours after a snowfall of more than 10 inches.
Residents are asked to remove snow from around fire hydrants so that fire crews will have easier access to the hydrants in an emergency. Ice and snow should also be cleared from around storm drains, and the city asks residents to avoid shoveling snow into the street when possible.
Residents also are encouraged to check on older neighbors who may not be able to clear snow and may need some help. Rockville seniors in need of snow removal assistance may request help by calling 240-314-8819 or 240-314-8810. For answers to frequently asked questions about snow removal, visit www.rockvillemd.gov/winterweather and click on “FAQs.” Learn how the city handles winter weather in this Rockville 11 video: https://youtu.be/hAOj4LZm5EE. To report a power outage, call Pepco at 1-877-737-2662 or visit www.pepco.com. To report a tree blocking a roadway or driveway, call 240-314-8700. For a tree touching a power line, call Pepco at 1-877-737-2662. Be sure to stay clear of downed lines and trees touching power lines.
For emergencies, call 911. To report non-emergency concerns to the Rockville City Police Department, call 240-314-8900. Rockville will post city facility closure information on the city’s website, http://www.rockvillemd.gov, as well as at www.rockvillemd.gov/weather.
Updates on Rockville’s storm response, city programs and facilities and other information will also be available on Rockville 11 (channel 11 on county cable systems) and on the city’s Facebook page (City of Rockville, City Hall) and Twitter account (@Rockville411). To receive updates on mobile devices or via email, sign up for Alert Rockville atwww.rockvillemd.gov/connections.