FREDERICK, Md. (WUSA9) -- Frederick County emergency managers have opened four emergency shelters as at least 30,000 residents head into the evening with no power in the wake of Wednesday's ice storm.
"It will be days before power is restored to all customers," said Potomac Edison spokesman Todd Meyers.
One-quarter to a half-inch of ice fell across Frederick County, bringing down thousands of branches and hundreds of power lines.
The county issued the following statement late Wednesday:
"Frederick County emergency officials announced the opening of warming centers at the Brunswick, Walkersville, Woodsboro and Urbana fire stations at 6:00 p.m. today due to the ice storm and to assist those who have encountered significant power outages. As of 4:00 p.m., just under 30,000 citizens were without power throughout the county.
Residents are invited to come to the fire stations for warmth and to charge electrical devices. The warming centers will be open overnight, but sleeping accommodations will not be provided.
In addition, Frederick County Citizens Services Division staff are opening a shelter at 5:00 p.m. at the Department of Aging, 1440 Taney Avenue, Frederick, Md.
The American Red Cross will provide a limited number of cots and emergency supplies at the shelter, but citizens are encouraged to bring sleeping bags, blankets, pillows and other personal items, if they so desire. A limited amount of snacks and beverages will be provided. The shelter will be open overnight for those who wish to get warm or stay until morning.
The warming centers are primarily for those who need a short respite from the cold, while the shelter will provide limited overnight accommodations for those who need special attention. However, everyone is welcome at the warming centers or shelter and there is no cost for the services.
The American Red Cross, Citizens Services Division, Emergency Management Division, Health Department, and Department of Social Services are working together to serve the citizens who visit the shelter.
No pets are allowed at the warming centers or shelter.
For more information, call the fire stations or contact the Frederick County Department of Emergency Preparedness at 301-600-6027 or via e-mail at em@FrederickCountyMD.gov."