YOU ARE HERE: HeraldMail HomeCollectionsSnow

Hagerstown, Tri-State area blanketed by more than a foot of snow

December 18, 2009|From staff reports

o For updated weather forecasts, road conditions and school closures or delays, go to The Herald-Mail Accuweather

o List of weather-related cancellations, postponements

More than a foot of snow had fallen on Hagerstown by early Saturday afternoon as a major winter storm swept through the Tri-State area.

By 5 p.m. Saturday, the snowfall total in Hagerstown had reached 14 inches, according to weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site.

Snow began falling in the Hagerstown area right around 10 p.m. as forecast.

Maryland State Police said the snow emergency plan for Washington and Frederick counties took effect at 11:30 p.m. Friday. Police advised against travel, and said all vehicles driving on designated state snow emergency routes must have chains, snow tires, or all-season radial tires. Vehicles parked on snow emergency routes are subject to being impounded, police said.


Mark Baker of the West Virginia Division of Highways said about 15 inches of snow had fallen by noon at the agency's maintenance headquarters in Berkeley County along Rock Cliff Drive.

"This stuff is real dry and will blow," said Baker, who anticipates snow drifting could complicate travel after the storm ends.

A dozen DOH trucks are continuously plowing primary roads and five more are keeping I-81 open, Baker said in an interview at 1 p.m.

The DOH has about 900 tons of sodium chloride (salt) and 900 tons of modified No. 8 stone on hand for road treatment, said Baker, a maintenance division crew chief.

Earlier, Stephen S. Allen, director of Berkeley County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said emergency officials have received "numerous" reports of vehicles that slid off the road, but no major accidents.

"I definitely wouldn't want to be on the interstate with anything less than snow tires," Allen said in an interview about 9 a.m. Saturday.

As of 2 p.m., Allegheny Power's Web site reported one power outage in Berkeley County affecting 23 customers.

A winter storm warning is in effect in the Tri-State area from midnight Friday through 6 a.m. Sunday, the National Weather Service said.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, the weather service was calling for snow to continue through Sunday morning. Snow was expected to be heaviest between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Saturday, according to the forecast. An additional 3 to 5 inches was forecast for Saturday night.

The Maryland National Guard was being activated because of the snow emergency.

Lt. Col. Charles Kohler says the adjutant general has authorized up to 200 soldiers to be called on state active duty.

Officials are working with the Maryland Emergency Management Agency to assess requests for assistance.

West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin ordered about 200 National Guard members to state duty, according to a news release.

The Associated Press contributed to this story

The Herald-Mail Articles