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More snow or rain expected this week

March 17, 2004|by PEPPER BALLARD

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Close to a half-inch of ice and snow fell in Washington County on Tuesday.

Hagerstown received about 0.4 inches of snow and ice Tuesday, according to the I4 Weather Web site managed by weather observer Greg Keefer, and AccuWeather meteorologist Michael Sager. Meteorologists had forecast up to six inches of snowfall.

Sager said the storm turned slightly to the north, causing the most serious weather to miss the Washington County area.

"It turned into sleet and ice earlier than we originally thought," he said. "We kinda got ripped off there, snow-wise."

The AccuWeather Web site forecast high temperatures in the upper 30s today with a chance of snow flurries.

National Weather Service spokeswoman Jackie Hale said there was a 20 percent chance of snow or rain overnight Tuesday, with lows in the upper 20s. There is a 40 percent chance of rain or snow Thursday night, she said.

"I personally never write off winter until after tax day," she said.

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No flights were canceled at Hagerstown Regional Airport on Tuesday, but some flights to areas such as Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio were delayed so planes could be de-iced, said Kevin Trumble, station manager for U.S. Airways Express at the airport.

At about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, when sleet and snow started to fall, roads in the Cascade and Smithsburg areas were checked out by crews, said Diane Mongan, administrative assistant with the Washington County Highway Department.

She said one or two salt trucks were sent to each of the department's areas - including Hancock, Cascade, Keedysville, Hagerstown and Clear Spring - to cover icy spots.

Carol Mowen, public information officer for Washington County Public Schools, said school was dismissed an hour early Tuesday because sleet was falling and the temperature was beginning to drop.

Staff writer Brian Shappell contributed to this story.

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