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Foot of snow blankets Tri-State


Roads were expected to be treacherous just about everywhere this morning from a winter storm that dumped about a foot of snow on the region just four days before the start of spring.

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The snow sent dozens of cars sliding into each other and other objects throughout the day and night, keeping police and emergency crews busy.

The Hagerstown Regional Airport shut down Sunday afternoon, stores and other services closed and numerous events were canceled, including the second day of the Flower and Garden Show at Hagerstown Community College.

The snow was expected to continue throughout the night and morning with the forecast calling for blustery winds and temperatures only in the upper 30s today.


Washington County Emergency Services dispatched rescue crews to 61 calls on Sunday from midnight to 9 p.m. for Washington County and Berkeley County, W.Va., according to Michael R. Schifler, dispatcher.

Twenty were for car accidents, he said. A normal Sunday would yield about 28 calls, he said.

Officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration said Interstate 70 was snow-covered and slippery, Sunday evening. Interstate 81 was considered passable throughout the day.

State Police, Washington County Sheriff's Department and the Hagerstown City Police all blamed numerous accidents on the weather.

In Hagerstown, the roads were so bad, Hagerstown City Police only left the station for emergency calls, according to a dispatcher.

Forty-seven trucks were out plowing county roads all day and into the night, said Ted Wolford, Washington County Transportation Department Superintendent.

He said the workers had to concentrate on removing snow before they could apply anti-skid materials.

About 565 people in the Hagerstown area were without power during the storm, said Midge Tahn, a spokeswoman with Allegheny Power.

The heavy snowfall that fell Sunday was not a surprise, according to forecaster Jim DeCarufel.

He said the weather pattern was caused by a "low pressure front over the South Carolina coast."

A Pennsylvania State Police spokeswoman in Chambersburg, Pa., said troopers were being dispatched constantly all day Sunday to investigate traffic accidents, none of which was serious or involved serious injuries.

An emergency services spokesman reported numerous minor accidents around Franklin County. There were also several reports of wires knocked down because of the heavy snow, he said.

From eight to 10 inches of snow had fallen around Chambersburg as of 8 p.m. with more expected.

"Our roads are all snow-covered. The plowing crews are waiting until it stops snowing before they go out so travel conditions should be slow in the morning," he said.

Snow-covered roads had motorists sliding around Berkeley County. W.Va., roads Sunday afternoon including a stretch of seven accidents between 12:15 p.m. and 12:43 p.m., according to a Berkeley County emergency services dispatcher.

The most serious of those accidents happened about 12:15 p.m. at W.Va. 9 and Rock Cliff Drive near Martinsburg. Two people were taken to Martinsburg City Hospital, but information from West Virginia State Police on the accident was not available at press time.

Martinsburg City police and the Berkeley County Sheriff's Office reported a few minor accidents, but no serious injuries.

The City of Martinsburg declared a snow emergency at 3 p.m. Sunday and designated snow emergency routes on Queen Street between Commerce and Stephen streets and on King Street between Spring and Charles streets.

Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan county schools called off Monday classes and the snowfall forced Berkeley County schools to reschedule today's regional science fair at Keyser and the ACE competition at James Rumsey to March 22.

related story:

-- Storm causes massive I-70 pileup

Staff Writers Bryn Mickle and Richard F. Belisle contributed to this story.

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