It's simply a disgrace. Maryland's public officials, particularly those in Prince George's County, should be ashamed of themselves for their incompetence during the snowstorm Nov. 11.

I ventured from Annapolis to New Carrollton to rescue my wife, whose car was hopelessly buried at the Metro lot. Although my experience was not as bad as many, the round trip still took me five hours. I started my trek at 3 p.m. and did not see one snowplow or salt truck on Rte. 50 until 7:30 p.m. in central Anne Arundel County.

What were the road crews doing? Where were they? If not on a major highway, then where? In the garage?

As a transplant from Ohio I was puzzled a year ago to see the sheer panic that strikes this area when snow is even mentioned. Now I understand why. Our public officials haven't the slightest notion of how to deal with snow. When are they going to start getting some advice from our neighbors to the north and learn what can and must be done when snow hits? Hit it back early and don't stop until the snow stops. GEORGE N. LUNDSKOW Arnold, Md. It has become obvious that the traffic chaos created by major snowstorms is more predictable than the storms themselves. An excessive amount of traffic and poor driving habits combine to hamper snow removal. But if everyone drove four-wheel-drive cars or dog sleds would things be much different?

As a physician in private practice, I immediately canceled all of my patients the day of the snowstorm over concern for their safety. It's time that businesses, governments and schools considered people's health and well-being to be the most important assets.

How much work really gets done on such chaotic days anyway? Why not accept the inevitable and let people remain at home to enjoy the weather, bake chocolate-chip cookies and spend some quality time with family and neighbors?

I'd rather see our efforts channeled into making the other 360-plus days a year safer on the roads for all ofus. PAUL M. GOLDBERG Rockville