Cumberland Times-News

October 29, 2012

How Hurricane Sandy is affecting region

From Staff Reports
Cumberland Times-News

Md. interstate, highway speeds dropped to 45 mph

HANOVER — Due to deteriorating weather conditions, the Maryland State Highway Administration, state police and Transportation Authority have lowered all speed limits on interstate and U.S. routes to 45 mph effective immediately and until further notice.

All three agencies discourage any travel during the expected upcoming height of the storm. This reduction in speed limit also applies to all first responders, relief workers, utility crews and other essential personnel.

For more information about Sandy, view the Maryland Emergency Management Agency website at www.mema.state.md.us.

For the most up to date highway traffic information, call 511 or 1-855-GOMD511 or visit www.md511.org and www.traffic.maryland.gov.  Remember to use 511 safely — Maryland law prohibits hand-held mobile phone use and texting while driving.

For more general non-storm specific information, follow SHA on Twitter @MDSHA and “like” us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/MarylandStateHighwayAdministration

Cumberland Police has extra officers on patrol

 In coordination with the city of Cumberland, the Cumberland Police Department has been preparing to help its citizens during the impending storm.  

The department will have extra officers on the streets and manpower in their station. In times of storms police dispatch services frequently become overwhelmed. Citizens are encouraged to contact 911 to report emergencies but are asked to refrain from making non-emergency inquiries. In the event phone communications go down look for patrolling police officers in your neighborhood.

 In the event of power failures, the city  will attempt to place portable stop signs at intersections to take place of traffic lights. In the event that no traffic direction device exists, motorists are reminded of Maryland’s new law concerning non-functioning traffic lights.

The law requires all drivers approaching an intersection with a non-functioning traffic signal to stop. Drivers may proceed only after they have yielded to any vehicles or pedestrians already in the intersection.

What to do if the power goes out

FirstEnergy and Potomac Edison are offering safety reminders for the possible impact of Hurricane Sandy.

With the distinct possibility of power outages lasting up to 10 days, the utility advises:

• Keep a flashlight and extra batteries handy. Use care when burning candles; open flames are a fire hazard.

• Gather extra blankets or a sleeping bag for each person. Do not use gas stoves, kerosene heaters or other open-flame heat sources to prevent deadly carbon monoxide gas from building up in homes.

• If using a water well and pump, keep an emergency supply of bottled water and/or fill your bathtub with fresh water.

• Stock an emergency supply of convenience foods that do not require cooking.

No Frostburg garbage collection

There will be no garbage collection in the city of Frostburg on Tuesday due to the storm and the closing of the landfill.  

Tuesday customers will be collected on Friday.

Questions may be directed to City Hall at 301-689-6000.

Allegany County schools closed

All Allegany County public schools and offices will be closed on Tuesday. Only essential personnel required to report. All school activities involving school facilities are canceled.

Garrett County offices closed today

All Garrett County Government Offices will be closed on Tuesday and administrative leave will be in place for all non-emergency personnel.

Also, liberal leave for all non-emergency personnel will be in place on Wednesday with a decision to amend that decision to administrative leave subject to change.

Garrett County schools closed today

Garrett County public schools will be closed Tuesday, according to the school system that announced the closing late Monday morning.

Hampshire, Mineral schools closed

Hampshire and Mineral County public schools will be closed Tuesday.

PharmaCare flu shot clinics postponed

PharmaCare has canceled its flu and pneumonia clinic for Tuesday at the Frostburg Senior Center, Water Street, Frostburg. It is rescheduled for Monday at 10 a.m. to noon at the senior center.

The clinic scheduled for Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon at PharmaCare's Home Medical Department location at Burton's Shopping Center, LaVale, is cancelled. Flu and pneumonia clinics will resume the following Wednesday from 10 a.m. to noon at LaVale. Any questions, call PharmaCare Infusion Services at 301-723-2440.

WMHS doctors’ offices closed today

The Western Maryland Health System’s Urgent Care Centers, Primary Care Centers, Physician’s Offices at the WMHS Medical Arts Center and the Offices of Dr. Dalal and Diabetes Medical Home at the Johnson Heights Medical Building will be closed on Tuesday.

The Western Maryland Regional Medical Center will remain open.

Mineral health department closed

The Mineral County Health Department will be closed Tuesday. For more information, go to the website at www.mineralcountyhealthdepartment.com.

What to do if you smell natural gas

Columbia Gas of Maryland urges its customers to use caution during the storm. Anyone who smells natural gas should leave the area immediately and from a safe location call 1-888-460-4332 or 911.

Columbia advises customers to leave their natural gas service on. Customers who expect, or have already experienced, flooding or damage to their natural gas appliances and equipment should turn off the gas service at the valve located on each natural gas appliance. Do not turn off natural gas service at the valve located on the meter.

After the storm, Columbia reminds customers to take care when removing fallen trees or grinding tree stumps. Buried underground utilities can create a dangerous situation unless properly located by the utility owner.

Allegany health department closed

The Allegany County Health Department will be closed Tuesday with the exception of emergency essential personnel.

 The Dental Clinic and WIC office also are closed.  All Behavioral Health services, including Mental Health and Addictions are canceled.

Those with an emergency should call 911.

Snow plan in effect in Garrett County

The snow emergency plan was placed in effect in Garrett County at 4 p.m. Monday, according to Maryland State Police.