Aaron C. Davis
Friday, February 5, 2010; 12:11 PM
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has declared a state of emergency because of the predicted monstrous snowfall, a designation allowing him to activate the Maryland National Guard, suspend state law if necessary, and prepare for another bid for federal financial relief if cleanup efforts overwhelm local and state budgets. O'Malley is scheduled to make the announcement shortly in Hanover, at a state emergency operations center. Maryland National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Charles Kohler said 200 soldiers have been identified who could be called up for emergency relief operations, and full-time staff have already placed Humvees and other equipment in strategic locations around the state. It is the second time in seven weeks that O'Malley has declared a state of emergency. During the snow storm on Dec. 18 and 19, National Guard troops deployed 5-ton vehicles to each state police barracks and helped local governments transport officers and medical patients.