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Authorities worried roads will refreeze

December 16, 2003|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

Residual effects from Sunday's snow and ice storm caused few problems during Monday's daylight and early evening hours.

Authorities said they were concerned the refreezing road surfaces could create dangerous conditions overnight into this morning.

Most parts of Washington County received between 4 and 5 inches of snow, plus about one-half inch of precipitation (sleet/ice/melted snow), during a storm that hit early Sunday, National Weather Service meteorologist Jim DeCarufel said.

Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site reported 5.3 inches of snow and about an inch of precipitation Sunday. The site said the snow tally for December was at 13.5 inches, 0.3 short of last year's total for the month, the snowiest December since 1973, according to the site.

Temperatures were expected to drop to a low of 21 degrees, overnight, the National Weather Service said. Temperatures were expected to reach a high of 49 degrees today, and rain may fall Wednesday, the National Weather Service said.

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State police Sgt. Mike Hegedus said only one crash Monday was determined to be caused by icy road conditions. Hegedus said the incident occurred at 6:48 p.m. on a slick bridge service on westbound Interstate 70, near Maryland 68.

Hegedus said at least one motorist was taken to Washington County Hospital for treatment of injuries but he had no further information.

Lt. Mike King of the Hagerstown Police Department said police responded to about four minor crashes Monday afternoon and early evening. He said none of them resulted in injuries.

"It's unusual, probably double the amount because of the slick roads," King said. "There was nothing serious, just fender-benders."

Washington County Sheriff's Cpl. Daniel Faith said he expected deputies would be busy responding to minor accidents as the evening progressed.

"It's already starting to get slick," Faith said at 10 p.m. "Hopefully county roads will get out here to gets some salt on the slick roads."

Maryland State Highway Administration spokespeople and Washington County Highways Director Ted Wolford could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

Bob Stoner, supervisor of the Hagerstown Parks and Recreation Department, said one truck was deployed Monday evening to salt icy patches scattered around the city.

"They took care of most of the bad spots this afternoon - they worked all day on it, (today's) temperatures and (Wednesday) rain will likely melt what's left. That should clean it all up by then, hopefully." Stoner said.

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