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After winter blast, police say roads getting better

Forecasters predicting milder weather

Forecasters predicting milder weather

March 18, 2007|by PEPPER BALLARD

TRI-STATE - Tri-State area police and emergency crews reported a number of fender-benders Saturday but it was nothing like the number of accidents reported during Friday's snowstorm, according to area police and emergency services dispatchers.

Police expressed concern about motorists taking to the streets for St. Patrick's Day festivities Saturday night, but said if partygoers used common sense and didn't drink and drive, they should have been fine on the roads, which - in most parts of the Tri-State area - were passable by Saturday afternoon.

"The roads are clear. I can't account for every inch of the highway, but it is still winter and there is still going to be melting," said Maryland State Police Cpl. Robert Fraley.

"Obviously St. Patrick's Day is a risky day to be out driving," said Washington County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Chris Howard. "I'd just caution people to be careful."

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Maryland State Police in Hagerstown lifted the county's snow emergency plan at 3 a.m. Saturday, noting that conditions on county roads had "greatly improved."

According to www.i4weather.net, the Web site of local weather observer Greg Keefer, 6.7 inches of snow and ice fell in Hagerstown during the Friday storm. Keefer states on his Web site that in March, Hagerstown received 12 inches of snow and ice, which is nearly half of the recorded snow and ice for the season, at 23.6 inches.

Highs today are expected to reach the mid-40s, according to the National Weather Service.

As far as travel today, Fraley said, "Common sense should always dictate ... If you're going to an area where there's snow, then anticipate problems."

Slightly warmer temperatures are in store for Monday, when highs are expected to reach 50 degrees. There's a 40 percent chance of rain showers Monday, but if that happens, the National Weather Service said accumulation should be less than a tenth of an inch.

Temperatures should continue to climb throughout the week with highs Friday expected in the mid-60s, the National Weather Service says.

Police in Washington and Frederick counties in Maryland, Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties in West Virginia and Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania reported only a few minor fender benders overnight Friday compared with several non-fatal accidents Friday.

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