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Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette Logo Berlin, Ocean Pines News Worcester County Bayside Gazette


Another winter storm could bring more snow, sleet

(March 5, 2015) A third winter storm could hit the lower shore on Thursday, this one bringing a mix of freezing rain and snow with as much as 4 inches of accumulation.
Scott Minnick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said overnight rain would turn into sleet by Thursday morning, changing over to a sleet/snow mix in the afternoon as temperatures plummet throughout the region.
“We are expecting really anywhere from 1 to 3 [inches],” Minnick said. “The models are holding steady in that range, although we definitely cannot rule out up to four inches.
“Thankfully, by Friday night things start to dry out and temperatures should actually moderate throughout the weekend,” Minnick continued. “It will be cold on Friday with a high right around 30, but by Saturday and Sunday we do start to warm up into the low 40s. That’s not saying much, but at least it’s progress.”
The second major snowfall to hit Worcester County came late last Wednesday, sending small armies of plows and salt trucks into the icy streets and resulting in school closings for the remainder of the week.
Berlin and Ocean Pines each saw 6 inches of snowfall overnight and into Thursday morning, with Snow Hill receiving 5.8 inches and Ocean City on the low end at 5 inches, according to totals provided by the National Weather Service.
Ocean Pines dispatched seven plow trucks to cover the 70-plus miles of community-owned territory, including parking lots and amenities.
“We came in and had about 20 hours straight on the first shift,” Ocean Pines Public Works Director Eddie Wells said. “This snow was actually easier than the last one, a wetter snow, but easier to push. Plus the salt works better when it’s a little warmer.”
Wells said public works always prepares for the worst when snow looms in the forecast.
“We always shoot for the high number [of snowfall] and we always have everything ready to go,” he said. “It’s easier to take it back down if we don’t need it, but I try to have everything ready to roll and go when it does hit.”
By Friday morning, the focus in Ocean Pines had already shifted to the next major storm.
“I’m all filled up with salt,” Wells said. “I actually ordered another load after this last one. Salt doesn’t go bad, so I always try to keep plenty in stock. We’ll be ready for the next one.”
In Berlin, public works and the water resources departments have team up on snow removal. Director Jane Kreiter said the collaboration allows crews to “get the job done quickly and as efficiently as possible,” and has been beneficial as a team-building exercise.
“Good planning and a great staff really makes a difference,” she said. “Our team is very committed, and it really does build community pride. These guys are taking pride in knowing that they’re helping the community. I’ve never seen my crew as amicable as they are now. It’s kind of neat.”
Kreiter said the biggest obstacle in Berlin is maneuvering around cars parked on the sidewalk. Last month the town’s notification system, CodeRED, began advising residents to park in their driveways whenever possible when the forecast calls for snow.
While temperatures appear to be rising in the early part of the month, history warns that more winter weather could still be on the way.
“The last two Marches we’ve had snowfalls into the latter part of March,” National Weather Service Warning Coordination Meteorologist Bill Sammler said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say this is the last time the lower shore is going to see snow.”