News Flash

2021 Press Releases

Posted on: January 31, 2021

Montgomery County Courts and Offices Closed February 1

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NORRISTOWN, PA – Montgomery County officials announced all Courts, facilities, and government offices will be closed Monday, February 1, 2021 due to inclement weather.

Because the Courthouse is closed, all in-person scheduled events will be rescheduled for another day by Chambers or Court Administration. If an event is scheduled virtually for tomorrow, it is up to the individual Judge whether to proceed as scheduled, or to reschedule the event.

The County’s COVID-19 vaccination clinic scheduled for February 1 at the Montgomery County Community College will be closed. All clients with registered appointments will be automatically rescheduled for Norristown High School on Friday, February 5. A message reflecting this change has been sent via email to all registered clients. Information regarding any changes to clients with appointments for Tuesday, February 2 will be communicated February 1 via email, the County’s website, and social media.

Additionally, all County COVID-19 testing sites will be closed Monday, February 1. County testing sites will reopen on Tuesday, February 2 weather permitting.

“We urge residents to stay home during the storm and avoid travel unless absolutely necessary,” said Dr. Valerie A. Arkoosh, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “Our Roads and Bridges workers are working around the clock to treat County roads and keep them clear for emergency responders, healthcare staff, and other critical workers.”

Montgomery County Roads and Bridges maintains over 75 miles of County-administered roadway and 131 bridges, which translates to approximately 150 snow lane miles. Snow-lane mileage is calculated as the miles of road multiplied by the number of lanes; which means a one-mile section of four-lane roadway would equal four snow-lane miles. Equipment and personnel used during the winter include: 

  • 14 County on-the-road workers are available to drive snowplows and other equipment; 
  • Eight subcontracted on-the road workers; 
  • 11 trucks fitted with plows and salt spreaders;  
  • Two large dump trucks with large plows; 
  • Three huge front-end loaders to keep the trucks full of salt and replace salt at storage facilities. 

The County maintains and or stockpiles salt at several facilities. Over the last five winters, Montgomery County used an average of 2,000 tons of salt per year on County roads. Some County roads are maintained by local Townships, who work cooperatively with the County. 

Montgomery County asks that drivers prepare for the incoming storm by using caution if they have to drive and avoid travel during severe winter weather conditions. Roadways will not be free of snow while precipitation is falling. With freezing temperatures, roads that look wet may actually be icy, and extra caution is needed when approaching bridges and highway ramps where ice can form without warning. Motorists should leave plenty of space – six car lengths – when following a truck that is plowing or spreading winter materials.

Additionally, motorists who absolutely need to travel during times of snow or sleet should remember the following safety advice:

  • Leave early to ensure you have extra time to make the trip;
  • Slow down gradually and drive at a speed that suits the conditions;
  • Turn on your headlights and stay in your lane;
  • Increase your following distance;
  • Reduce in-car distractions since your full attention is required;
  • Use defroster and windshield wipers, keep windows and mirrors free of snow and ice; 
  • Do not pass a vehicle moving slowly;
  • Give ample room for plow truck drivers to treat the roadways and never pass between two trucks operating in a plow line;  
  • Always buckle up and never drink and drive.

Residents are asked to observe the following precautions during winter storm conditions related to power outages or other storm-related incidents:

  • If you lose power, do not call 9-1-1. The County’s Emergency Communications Center will already be extremely busy with storm-related incidents. Call your local utility provider to report the outage.
  • PECO: 1-800-841-4141
  • PPL: 1-800-342-5775
  • Met-Ed: 1-888-544-4877
  • Always assume that all power lines are live, even if you lose power in your home or business. Never go near or touch a fallen power line.
  • Never use a gas stove to heat your home. If you use candles for light, exercise extreme caution and never place them near combustible materials such as curtains or furniture. Battery powered candles or flashlights are much safer, especially if you have children or pets.
  • If your power is out, keep your refrigerator and freezer doors closed, which should keep food cold for about four hours. Be sure to dispose of any perishables (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, leftovers, etc.) that have been above 40° F for two hours or more.
  • If you have a portable generator, never use it inside your home or even in a partially enclosed area. Generators, as well as gas and charcoal grills, produce Carbon Monoxide, which is an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you. Keep the generator far away from doors, windows, and air intakes.
  • Never overload the generator or attempt to power your house by plugging it into a wall outlet. Both practices can cause electric shock or fire.

A “Code Blue” declaration for Montgomery County is in effect through Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 10 a.m. During this time, either the temperature or the wind chill is expected to be below 20 degrees Fahrenheit posing a threat of serious harm or death to individuals without shelter. Residents of Montgomery County who need emergency shelter during a “Code Blue” can call the Your Way Home Call Center at 2-1-1 or text their zip code to 898-211.

Montgomery County residents are encouraged to sign up for ReadyMontco text, call and email alerts to get the latest storm updates. ReadyMontco is the County’s official source for notifications about emergencies, severe weather, crime alerts and disasters in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. ReadyMontco is administered by the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety and is free of charge (text messaging and voice rates may apply). Once subscribed, residents receive time-sensitive messages wherever specified, such as their home, mobile or business phones, email address, and text messages.

Media Contact: Kelly Cofrancisco, kcofrancisco@montcopa.org

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