First snow slicks roads

December 28, 1999|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

Washington County's first snowfall of the season had yielded less than one inch of precipitation by Tuesday night, but area police said it contributed to many accidents on area roads and highways.

Tuesday's weather reached a high of 32 degrees and the cold temperature combined with precipitation made some curves, hills and bridges icy, according to Ted Wolford of the Washington County Street Department.

There wasn't enough snow to plow, but about 15 county trucks began scattering anti-skid materials on the roads at about 8 p.m., he said.

The Maryland State Highway Administration monitored the weather reports and took pre-storm precautions, supply clerk Mark Benner said Tuesday evening.

"Starting around 4 p.m. we had trucks on stand-by patrolling," he said.

About 12 trucks starting pouring anti-skid on the highways around 5:15 p.m. Trucks would likely remain on the highways until daylight, he said.


Icy bridges in several places on Interstate 70 in Washington County caused multiple accidents, according to Maryland State Police.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department reported accidents on Md. 66, U.S. 40 and Spielman Road.

A few minor fender benders occurred in Hagerstown, according to a dispatcher.

Storms like the one that hit Tuesday evening are referred to as "Alberta Clippers," said John Margraf, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

"The storm originated from Western and Central Canada and should pass quickly," Margraf said.

The weather made for icy road conditions in some areas because the surface temperature on roadways was just above freezing, he said.

No snow was in the immediate forecast. Highs today are expected to be 35 to 40 degrees and Thursday and Friday highs are expected to be in the 40s to 50s. Predictions call for it to be mostly sunny all three days, said Margraf.

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