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Iced

Residents shovel their way out of winter storm

Residents shovel their way out of winter storm

December 17, 2005|By TARA REILLY

tarar@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY -

A winter storm that left roads covered in snow and ice Thursday and Friday morning caused no major problems in Washington County, officials said Friday.

Allegheny Power had nine customers in Washington County without power as of Friday afternoon, said Steve Gale, director of communications.

Crews were working to have the power restored, but overall, Gale said the area dodged a bullet.

"We were expecting a lot worse than we got here," he said.

Gale said 191 customers were without power Thursday and Friday morning. Of that number, 169 were in the Frederick, Md., area, he said.

"We feel very fortunate," Gale said.

City of Hagerstown and Washington County officials said crews worked around the clock removing snow and ice and salting roads during and after the storm.

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They did not report any major problems.

"The roads are in really good shape," Hagerstown Public Works Manager Eric Deike said.

Deike said about 12 people worked overnight in the city Thursday night to make the roads safe and spreading, literally, tons of salt.

"There was a lot of ice, but I've seen it much worse," Deike said.

John Phillips, central section supervisor for the county Highway Department, said more than 80 employees worked two 12-hour shifts during the storm.

Deike and Phillips said Friday's warmer temperatures assisted in cleanup efforts.

Initially, the roads "were pretty bad," Phillips said. The roads had been snow covered and packed with ice, he said.

Crews cleared the roads and treated them with salt and anti-skid material.

Phillips said he was concerned, however, that falling temperatures Friday night would cause roads to freeze once again.

Local police departments reported dozens of fender benders and minor accidents on Thursday, but no major accidents.

That wasn't the case elsewhere, as ice covered the South.

At least four deaths were reported from the storm.

A 58-year-old man in suburban Charlotte, N.C., was on a couch in his living room when a 100-foot tree buckled from heavy ice and crushed him. Two men were killed in Maryland and another died in Georgia, each after losing control of his vehicle in separate accidents.

More than 700,000 homes and businesses in the South were without power.

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