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Big storm fizzles in county

March 05, 2001

Big storm fizzles in county



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer

Clear skiesForecasts that called for more than 1 foot of snow to fall in Washington County Sunday through Monday were inaccurate, but state and county road crews didn't mind the mix-up.

"It was a welcome surprise," said Ted Wolford, superintendent of the Washington County Transportation Department.

National Weather Service meteorologists had predicted more than 1 foot of snow would fall in the area Sunday night and from three to five inches on Monday. Schools throughout the Tri-State area closed Monday in anticipation of the heavy accumulation that never came.

Precipitation fell in the form of rain for most of Sunday and two to three inches of snow fell in Hagerstown Monday, according to the weather service.

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Meteorologists said warmer-than-expected temperatures saved the day.

Wolford said his crews had county roads cleared by 11 a.m. Monday.

"We were prepared for the worst but we hoped for the best," said Wolford.

Steve Davis, Maryland State Highway resident engineer for Washington County, said he found it hard to believe that so little snow fell after predictions of serious accumulations.

"As late as 4 a.m. (Monday) they were still predicting 10 inches. It's incredible," he said.

Davis said subsequent weather reports with conflicting amounts of accumulation were confusing.

"We almost went bonkers," he said.

Davis said he was pleased when he heard the nor'easter was headed north.

"Someone had to get it, I'm glad it's not us," he said.

This winter has been a tough one for road crews, he said.

"We did an awful lot of work this season. We're ready for spring," said Davis.

Forecasters are predicting snow showers today with highs in the 30s. They said Wednesday and Thursday will be partly sunny with temperatures around 40 degrees.

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