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WEATHER
Storm brings nearly 1 foot of snow to Mid-Shore region

EASTON — Following an unseasonably warm Sunday, the first snowstorm of the 2021-22 season brought nearly 1 foot of snow to many locations across the Mid-Shore on Monday.

Snow totals varied across the Mid-Shore, but most areas saw 6 inches to up to a foot of snow, with 13 inches reported in Millington.

The Talbot County Department of Emergency Services unofficially reported 9 inches of snow at its office on Port Street in Easton, with other locations across the county recording 8 to 12 inches — amounts that were in line with the predicted snowfall totals.

In Caroline County, Goldsboro and Greensboro recorded around 10 inches and Henderson recorded 11 inches, according to the National Weather Service, with other areas locally reporting over a foot of snow.

In Dorchester County, Cambridge reported 10 inches, Hurlock reported 11 inches and East New Market reported 11.5 inches.

Talbot County felt the most severe effects from the storm around 2 p.m. Monday afternoon when more than 1,600 customers were affected by power outages and around 14 downed trees were reported, said Geneva Schaffle, emergency management coordinator for the Talbot County Department of Emergency Services.

Due to the continued inclement weather conditions, public school systems in Talbot, Caroline, Queen Anne’s, Kent and Dorchester counties will remain closed on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

Refreezing roads and treacherous driving conditions were the main concerns for Monday evening going into Tuesday morning, said Brian LeCates, Talbot director of emergency services.

Temperatures were forecasted to dip into the 20s throughout the region Monday night and will top out in the mid-30s during the day Tuesday. However, refreezing will likely continue to be an issue Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning as temperatures again plunge into the 20s.

LeCates advised drivers to use caution and to allow extra space in between vehicles when traveling Tuesday. The county anticipates emergency calls overnight and into the morning as refreezing continues to be an issue.

Talbot County Manager Clay Stamp also warned county residents to be aware of the low temperatures and refreezing when traveling Tuesday morning.

While state-maintained roads are in better condition, traveling on county-maintained roads will require more caution from drivers as crews continue to work on the roads overnight and into the morning hours, Stamp said.

Road conditions were made more complex by rain early Monday morning that turned into a coating of ice at the base as temperatures dropped and snow accumulated.

Stamp expressed his pride in county emergency services, fire companies and road workers for working well together during the storm. He also commended linemen for being extremely dedicated individuals working in hazardous conditions to make sure roads would be open.

Statewide, Maryland State Police responded to 132 crashes and 157 disabled vehicles, along with answering 515 service calls from 3:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday. Snow emergency plans remain in effect for many counties across the state.

Natalie Jones is a reporter at The Star Democrat in Easton covering crime, health, education and Talbot County Council. You can reach her with questions, comments or tips at njones@chespub.com.


Emergency_notice
COVID-19
Mask mandate returns in Maryland state buildings

ANNAPOLIS (AP) — Masks are required again in all state buildings in Maryland.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced Monday that face coverings are required for employees and visitors in all state buildings and leased space in all public or shared spaces.

The announcement comes as state health officials reported 14, 251 new coronavirus cases Monday and a slight increase in the seven-day testing positivity rate to 26.9%. Another 196 people were hospitalized, bringing that total to 2,746, more than three times the level seen a month earlier.

The state will give employees who receive a booster shot two hours of paid leave and all employers were encouraged to offer paid leave for vaccinations and boosters, the governor announced in a news release.

The Maryland Department of Health and Maryland Department of Budget and Management issued updated guidance to state agencies and offices, adopting new CDC guidance on quarantine protocols for state employees, the governor announced. This allows agency heads discretion to implement telework and hybrid work schedules for applicable employees while maintaining operations.


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