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Wintry mix hits Tri-State area

December 15, 2007|From staff reports

TRI-STATE ? Roads were slippery, and several traffic accidents were reported Saturday night as a mixture of rain, sleet and freezing rain began falling on the Tri-State area.

Precipitation began falling Saturday before 9 p.m., and became heavier later in the evening.

The National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., issued a winter storm warning for Washington County and Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties in West Virginia until today at 1 p.m.

The weather service also issued a winter storm warning for Fulton County, Pa., until today at noon, and a winter weather advisory for Franklin County, Pa., also until today at noon.

Washington County Highways Director Ed Plank was checking and rechecking AccuWeather forecasts, and decided to bring in a shift of road workers Saturday at 6 p.m. ? enough people to drive the county's 35 trucks ? and continue working today.

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"When the radar says it's coming, we'll be out treating the bridges and hills," Plank said. The crews will be using a liquid product rather than the traditional salt mixture, which is in short supply.

The weather service said the precipitation was expected to be a mix of sleet and freezing rain at the start, then all freezing rain with accumulations of one-quarter to one-half inch, and possibly more at higher elevations.

The storm was expected to diminish this morning, but there still could be some scattered snow showers with possible accumulations of less than an inch, the weather service said.

The weather service also issued a high wind watch for Washington County and Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties in West Virginia beginning this afternoon and continuing into Monday morning.

The weather service called for wind gusts between 50 and 60 mph beginning this afternoon, and said the combination of high winds and the accumulated ice could lead to damage to power lines and trees.

Today's high temperature in Hagerstown is expected to reach 38 degrees, with a low tonight of 26, according to AccuWeather. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid- to upper 30s Monday and Tuesday before warming into the low to mid-40s Wednesday and Thursday.

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