Archive for February, 2010

Key Community Contact Information

Friday, February 26th, 2010

The power outage for some homes in our neighborhood last night reminds us that winter is still here and that, no matter what season it is, it’s helpful to have handy a short list of key phone numbers and other contact points in case of emergency. Hence, the list below for your easy reference.


 General Information about County Services: For the latest on traffic conditions, snow removal operations, the status of County government programs and services, consult the County’s website at

 Emergencies: Call 9-1-1 to report emergencies — including “hot” wires or sparking wires, especially those across roadways.

 Non-Emergency Alert: Call the Montgomery County Police at 301-279-8000.

 Snow Removal: For more information about snow removal operations visit or call 240-777-6000.

 Power Outage: Call your service provider: PEPCO at 1-877-737-2662, Allegheny Power at 1-800-255-3443 or Baltimore Gas and Electric at 1-877-778-2222.

 Neighborhood Contacts: For updates concerning our 600-family neighborhood:

o Consult West Bradley Citizens’ Association website ( or
o Send message via our announcement listserv ( or
o Send message via our two discussion listservs – and/or or
o Contact WBCA president, Sandy Vogelgesang, at

WBCA Alert 2/9/2010

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Most of our area suffered extensive power outages (and thus no Internet for WBCA communication) and delays in getting streets plowed during the most recent storm.  However, progress is being made despite the large number of trees down.  Crews arrived to help much of the area west of Seven Locks Road by yesterday afternoon and we hear that power has been restored to much of the area east of Seven Locks early this morning (Tuesday, Feb. 9).  Since another storm is to begin about mid-day today, with an estimated 10-20 inches of snow and gusty winds, we need to prepare for another round.  See below for a combination of information from Councilmember Berliner and our County government.  In the meantime, use our two discussion listservs (  and or email Sandy Vogelgesang at  to flag issues/ news, from situations where neighbors need emergency help to updates on power/snow removal service.

Information from Berliner and other County officials:

Snow Removal from Streets.  It is Montgomery County policy to focus first on “primary” and “secondary” roads before even starting on neighborhood streets.  In a storm of this magnitude, that means it can be two days after the storm subsides before neighborhood roads are started.  County crews, with something like 800 pieces of equipment, began moving into our neighborhood streets on Sunday.  While it seems odd that some streets get plowed before others in the same neighborhood, Berliner says that each crew has its own assignments, and all areas of our County are being treated equitably.    To report snow removal problems or downed trees, call 240-777-6000. Montgomery Department of Transportation (DOT) plow trucks are assisting PEPCO crews in reaching locations to restore power to the greatest number of customers. The County Department of Transportation (DOT) reports that all DOT staff, as well as Tier I, Tier II and Tier III contractors, are treating neighborhoods at this time. Information on County plowing policies and procedures is available on the County Web site at:  For a street that may have been missed by County plows, a report can be made via the County Web site at: Tree crews are staffed at each depot to respond to any tree related issues.  DOT plow trucks are also assisting tree crews in reaching locations.  According to the latest bulletin from the County (2/9, 9:45 AM), all neighborhood streets are scheduled to be reached by noon today and they have also asked that residents not call the highway services number because the phone line has been overwhelmed.

State Roads.  There have been many complaints about the state of some of our major roads — Massachusetts Ave, Old Georgetown Rd., Wisconsin Ave, River Road, Goldsboro, and Bradley Blvd.  These are state roads, and are the responsibility of the state to plow.  County officials have been in contact with state officials to let them know that these roads have not been given the attention they require.  If you would like to report a problem with one of our state roads, call 1 (800) 543-2515. 

Power.  PEPCO has its own priority list.  It focuses on the outages that affect the most people first, working its way down the list to the ones that affect just a few homeowners.  They have been hampered by road access.  County officials have asked crews to prioritize plowing in areas that are without power.  PEPCO believes the vast majority of people will have power back on in the next 24 hours; however, they are saying that some situations may not be addressed until Friday in light of the new storm expected between Tuesday night and Wednesday.  For outages, call 1-877-737-2662.  We have found over the last day or two that the more people who call to report outages the better the prospects for getting crews assigned to our area, so do call even if you must wait a long time to connect. For residents still without power, the County has opened three shelters located at: the Margaret Schweinhaut Senior Center at 1000 Forest Glen Road in Silver Spring; the Longwood Recreation Center at 19300 Georgia Avenue, Brookeville; and Richard Montgomery High School at 250 Richard Montgomery Drive in Rockville (the closest to our community).  We also understand that several hotels in the area including the Marriott on Democracy have rooms.

Emergency.  Call 911.  For non-emergency police number, call: 301-279-8000. 

Safety Warning.  Montgomery County’s Fire and Rescue Service urges residents without power to be aware that using gas or charcoal grills, propane heaters and stoves, kerosene space heaters or generators indoors can be fatal.  They are a source of carbon monoxide, which can build up indoors and cause carbon monoxide poisoning.

TV Coverage. Montgomery County government’s cable television channel – County Cable Montgomery (CCM), which can be viewed on Channel 6 on the Comcast and RCN cable systems and Channel 30 on Verizon – is continuing to feature live coverage of road conditions at all major traffic intersections.

Parking.  Suspension of enforcement of parking restrictions in all public parking garages and lots will continue through Thursday.  Parking enforcement has been suspended since 3 p.m. on Friday. Residents are encouraged to park in these garages and lots rather than on the street, to make it easier for plowing operations to occur. County-owned parking lots and parking garages, and sidewalks near those facilities, have been cleared of snow. Park & Ride lots have been plowed and sidewalks/bus shelters cleared and treated.

Driving Conditions.  Montgomery County Police report that as some roads become more passable, drivers are increasing their speed. However, motorists are advised that they may encounter varying conditions on the same stretch of road, as plowing operations continue. Drivers are reminded to maintain a safe stopping between vehicles. Drivers are also reminded that the melting occurring today will produce black ice during the night and caution is advised. Drivers should stay alert at all times for pedestrians walking in the roadways, where sidewalks are impassable with plowed snow. Police are asking residents to stay at home if at all possible, as plows, trucks and front-end loaders are moving snow and workers clearing sidewalks may be in the street.   According to the latest County bulletin (2/9, 9:45 AM), driving conditions remain hazardous and all residents are urged to stay home if at all possible.

Mailboxes: If a County plow has damaged your mailbox, the County will install a standard post and mailbox at your residence as soon as all snow plowing is completed. Call 240-777-6000 to file a report. If you have a non-standard mailbox, call the County’s Risk Management Division at 240-777-8920. In the meantime, a temporary mailbox will be installed.  Mail delivery resumed yesterday (2/8).

Trash Collection.  County-provided recycling and trash collections were canceled on Monday, Feb. 8, but resumed today (Tuesday). All recycling and trash pickups slide one day.  Neighbors  were amazed to see the garbage trucks drive down Charred Oak today! The County transfer station is open, but will close at 5 p.m. with no evening hours.

Libraries. All County public libraries were closed on Monday, Feb. 8. Customers are asked not to return library materials until libraries reopen and are asked not to leave materials outside the library buildings. Materials due Feb. 5 through Feb. 10 will have their due dates extended one week. No fines will be charged for the period from Friday, Feb. 5, through Wednesday, Feb. 10.

Thanks!  To all the street captains and others who checked on neighbors in their area and those who alerted us to emergency situations, thank you!  Once again we’ve seen so many reflecting the regard for others that is always important — but all the more appreciated in times of need.