By 4 p.m. Baltimore County had 300 pieces of county and contractor equipment and 400 people out on county roads, according to Tim Burgess, chief of the county Bureau of Highways.
Burgess was driving around the Catonsville area where he said snow accumulation was slightly higher than what he had seen in Towson.
"It's extremely cold and the traffic is keeping us from doing our jobs right now," said Burgess, noting that traffic volumes were heavier than usual because of early school dismissal.
Burgess said the efforts are focused on salting county roadways. Temperatures, which were below 25 degrees, were hampering efforts.
"It's pretty slick out here," said Burgess, adding that the light snow was quickly bonding to road surfaces.
Salt is effective down to zero degrees but Burgess said that once the temperature drops to around 23 degrees the roads will refreeze if salt is not re-applied frequently.
"Right now were in a salting operation," Burgess said. "We'll be in a plowing operation before it's over but I don't anticipate that happening until after rush hour."
The county has budgeted about $6 million for snow removal efforts — a figure that is based on an average of recent years. The budget figure, however, is merely a placeholder and county officials say they will spend what is needed to keep roadways passable throughout the winter.
Last winter, the county spent nearly $14 million more than budgeted in order to clear back-to-back blizzards. The county received nearly $4 million in reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help offset those costs.
State officials confronted similar challenges and conditions on highways.
Lora Rakowski, a spokeswoman for the Maryland State Highway Administration, said that because of early school closings there has been a greater volume of traffic on roadways earlier.
She said because of that and traffic moving slower rush hour conditions will start a little earlier and extend into the evening for the Baltimore Metro area. Rakowski said that so far there hasn't been much accumulation on the roadways just some on the shoulder and along the center of the roads.
She also said there haven't been any major accidents reported to MSHA.
"There have been a couple of crashes mostly single vehicles into guardrails probably indicating folks going a little too fast for conditions," Rakowski said.
Before the morning rush hour 1,300 road crews statewide and 400 in the Baltimore metro area were activated.
Rakowski urged motorists to slowdown and advised drivers to remember the speed limits are for optimal conditions.
Rakowski also urged drivers to take a look at the state's roads website www.roads.maryland.gov before they make their decision to get into their cars and drive.