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Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson held a press conference yesterday, updating residents on the county’s snow removal efforts thus far.

“First of all, I want to say that all of our plow drivers are doing an excellent job,” Johnson said. “They have been working 12-hour shifts, around the clock, since Friday and many of them have not been home and seen their families, but they are still coming to work with the same dedication and commitment to the job that they started with.”

Johnson confirmed that more than 50 percent of all roadways are passable. He assured that crews began plowing residential streets Monday afternoon. Allentown road, a main road near Andrews Air Force Base in Prince George’s County was one of several main streets temporarily gridlocked this morning as plows and sand trucks did their best to make the streets smoother and less snow covered.

Johnson asked residents to be patient as the county works to clear approximately 30 inches of snow off the roadways.

“We are doing everything possible to get to your streets,” Johnson said. “People must remain patient and please be sure to check on your neighbors to ensure that they are safe.

With an additional 10-20 inches of snow predicted to begin falling sometime today and continue into Wednesday, Johnson said that road crews will continue to work around the clock in 12-hour shifts until all roads are passable.

“The fine men and women who are working to clear our streets have been working straight for nearly a week,” Johnson said. “When you see them out on the roads, please tell them what a wonderful job they are doing.”

Due to the magnitude of this snow event, PG county staff has joined forces across departments– including the departments of Environmental Services and Central Services, as well as the Prince George’s County Board of Education and the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, sharing logistical support and department vehicles, bringing the total number of vehicles up to more than 300 vehicles per shift.

Although Governor Martin O-Malley and Prince George’s County Executive Jack Johnson declared a State-of-Emergency, which went into effect last Friday, crews have been faced with a multitude of problems stemming from vehicles on roadways around which they had to maneuver making plowing and salting difficult and more time consuming.

To assist road crews in clearing roadways, citizens and residents are requested to:

* Move abandoned vehicles from roadways and keep parked vehicles off roadways

* Do not drive unless absolutely necessary to do so

* Park only in driveways or other off-road locations Park only on the EVEN-NUMBERED sides of streets if off-street parking is not available (This is very important in order to allow plows to clear residential roadways. Plows cannot maneuver around vehicles to clear roadways. One side of the roadway must clear of vehicles for plow drivers to effectively perform snow and ice removal services.)

* Refrain from darting in front of or between plow/salt trucks

* Move to the side of a roadway to allow a plow/salt truck to do what it needs to do It also is important for single-family homeowners or renters and business proprietors to remember that they are responsible for:

* Remove snow and/or ice from sidewalksin front of their homes or business establishments. Although not required, removal of snow from around fire hydrants is encouraged as well so fire crews can locate the hydrant in the event of a fire.

Residents and citizens may contact the county’s Snow Information Center in the event of an emergency by calling 301.350.0500. County officials ask that you stay on the line until; a customer service representative is available to answer your call.