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Winter weather splashes area

February 24, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

Winter weather splashes area

A mixture of rain, snow and ice fell on the Tri-State area Monday, causing traffic accidents and further swelling already saturated ground.

Few injuries were reported in the accidents on the wet, slushy roadways and state police in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia said most were fender benders.

A tractor-trailer jackknifed on a wet Interstate 70 near the I-81 interchange Monday afternoon, Maryland State Police said. There were no injuries.

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More than 1 inch of rain fall in the Hagerstown area, while in areas such as Cascade, snow fell heavily at times.

About an inch of snow was reported in the Hancock area, while in Martinsburg, W.Va., a light dusting of snow disappeared when the precipitation turned to rain.

Chambersburg, Pa., reported 2 inches of snow, and an inch fell in Waynesboro, Pa.

Snowfall in the higher elevations was expected to end by this morning, leaving accumulations of between 4 and 8 inches in some areas, according to the National Weather Service.

A mix of rain and snow that started about 6 a.m. and fell throughout Monday in the lower elevations also was expected to end, making way for clearer skies and more moderate temperatures, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters expect the cold, wet weather that has been around for most of February to be replaced by warmer, dryer weather.

Monday's precipitation fell on already soaked ground, but wasn't expected to cause any flooding problems around local streams, said Dewey Walston, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

Some area yards and driveways were covered with water.

Clear Spring resident Don Yeakle was out Monday afternoon with a pick and shovel, trying to divert water from a nearby alley into a 20-foot-long trench so it wouldn't run into his garage.

"It seems like every time it rains I'm out there because the ground is just saturated," he said.

It was 35 degrees in Hagerstown at 9 p.m., but a steady 14 mph breeze with gusts of up to 29 mph made it seem more like 17 degrees, said Greg Keefer, Hagerstown weather observer.

It was expected to remain breezy today with temperatures climbing into the mid- to upper 40s under mostly cloudy skies, Walston said.

Warmer temperatures are expected to move into the area on Wednesday, with highs in the upper 50s under mostly sunny skies, Walston said.

On Thursday, highs are expected to be in the upper 50s to low 60s, according to the National Weather Service.

As of 9 p.m. Monday, 1.07 inches of rain had fallen during the day in Hagerstown, bringing the precipitation total for the month to 3.79 inches, Keefer said.

The precipitation puts the total for 1998 at 10.01 inches, he said.

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