Wintry mix slicks area roads

March 03, 1997

From staff reports

A wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow contributed to a series of accidents across the Tri-State area Monday afternoon, and in West Virginia, heavy rain was pushing streams over their banks, police said.

In Washington County, about a half dozen minor accidents were reported, but police said they had not received reports of serious injuries.

National Weather Service meteorologist Julie Arthur said the storm system was a combination of a low-pressure system over the Carolinas and a high-pressure system over Canada. The cold Canadian air came south, and the moisture-laden air came north, and produced the wintry mix.


According to Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer, the storms dumped nearly an inch of precipitation on the city.

In Jefferson County, W.Va., small streams were starting to spill over their banks Monday, said Jefferson County Emergency Service Director Darrell Penwell.

But weather officials had not warned of any potential problems along the Potomac or Shenandoah rivers, said Penwell.

About 1 1/2 inches of rain fell in Jefferson County, W.Va., Penwell said.

There were several minor accidents during the day in Jefferson County, but none of them were serious, officials said.

A combination of sleet and snow began falling in the area about 4:30 p.m., leaving about five car accidents in its wake in Berkeley County, according to West Virginia State Police.

Monday evening, an Inwood, W.Va., area woman called firefighters after about 5 feet of water collected in her basement. Officials believe the water rose in the woman's basement after a sump pump quit.

Monday night, firefighters were pumping the water from the house, which is located about two miles east of Inwood along W.Va. 51.

In Franklin County, Pa., icy conditions caused a number of minor accidents, police said. One accident in which two people died was attributed to a heart attack by the driver.

Today, the weather should turn partly sunny with highs in the mid- to upper 50s. Wednesday there is a 50 percent chance of rain, Arthur said, with highs around 60. Thursday and Friday should be mostly sunny with highs 50 to 60.

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