Ocean City, Maryland – (January 3, 2018): Ocean City is under a Winter Storm Warning, beginning in the afternoon hours today, January 3, until 1 p.m. tomorrow, January 4. According to the National Weather Service in Wakefield, VA, Ocean City will experience snow and moderate wind gusts. The projected snow will begin late this afternoon and into Thursday morning.
Snowfall accumulations are expected to reach between 4 to 8 inches, with winds averaging 15 to 20 miles per hour and gusts reaching 45 miles per hour. Due to the combination of snow, gusty winds and very cold temperatures, hazardous driving conditions are likely tonight and Thursday. Travel is strongly discouraged late tonight and during the storm tomorrow morning.
The Town of Ocean City’s Winter Storm Plan is in effect and the Emergency Management personnel are continuing to monitor the storm. Crews have started to pretreat roadways and will begin plowing when the snow accumulates.
As temperatures continue to drop and conditions of the bay change, the Ocean City Fire Department (OCFD) is reminding residents and visitors about the dangers of ice. While winter can be an exciting time of year for the outdoors type, a frozen body of water has inherent dangers which can occur regardless of how strong and thick the ice appears.
The OCFD is reminding citizens that ice on the bay, ponds, lakes and lagoons is unsafe. “Each year hundreds of people are injured in ice water accidents,” said Ocean City Fire Department Lieutenant and Water Rescue Commander, Darrick Elliott. “Many think that because the body of water has been frozen for a few days, they can “skate” or play on the ice. It is important to understand that even though the ice may look strong and safe, there is always the danger of falling through the ice and into frigid water.”
Parents are encouraged to talk to their children about the dangers of ice. “Walking and playing on ice is inviting and appears to be fun but it is important that children understand the dangers associated with playing on ice,” Elliott continued. “It’s important for children to know that there is no such thing as 100% safe ice. No ice is safe ice.”
If you are unsure if a frozen area of the bay, pond or lake is safe, please contact the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, 1-877-620-8DNR before allowing any activity to take place on the ice. For tips on staying safe during winter storms and cold weather, visit: https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.