Area roads mostly back to normal after snowstorm

Emergency officials report a few minor accidents during storm

January 12, 2011|By DAN DEARTH |
  • James Molineaux, 3, found shoveling the grass in his yard easier than helping his dad, Jon, shovel the driveway Wednesday at their Maugansville home.
By Ric Dugan, Staff Photographer

WASHINGTON COUNTY — Area roadways were mostly back to normal Wednesday night after Tuesday's snowstorm left 3 inches of snow in Hagerstown, officials said.

A Maryland State Police spokesman said the roads were safe after more than 100 trucks worked throughout the county clearing snow and spreading salt.

"We had been out since 4 or 5 (p.m.) Tuesday," Washington County Highway Department Director Ed Plank said Wednesday morning.

Plank said that although the county had 30 dump trucks and 15 pickup trucks on the road, he was understaffed because budget cuts prevented him from hiring private contractors to help plow.

"Our guys are working really hard," he said.

Hagerstown Public Works Director Eric Deike said the city had eight trucks on the road Tuesday night concentrating on the main thoroughfares through town, including Franklin, Washington and Potomac streets and Wesel and Wilson boulevards.

Maryland State Highway Administration spokesman David Buck said the state had 24 trucks on duty in Washington County and hired 40 additional contractors.

Buck said the state pretreated state routes and Interstates 70 and 81 with salt brine — a wet salt solution that clings to the road — to prevent icing.

"The pretreatment really has worked," he said.

Emergency officials from across the Tri-State area reported that only a few minor accidents occurred during the storm.

An emergency services dispatcher in Berkeley County, W.Va., said calls were steady, but none were for vehicle accidents. And Pennsylvania State Police reported it was quiet there.

Washington County's snow emergency plan, which went into effect at 6 p.m. Tuesday, was lifted at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

Accumulations across Maryland ranged from less than 1 inch in Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, to more than 4 inches in some areas of Western Maryland, to about 2 or 3 inches in the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan areas, officials said.

The next chance for measurable snow will probably be on Monday and Monday night, said Trina Heiser, a technician with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

But since temperatures might rise to 36 degrees Monday, it's too early to tell whether rain or snow, or both, might fall during the day, Heiser said.

Precipitation is expected again Tuesday, but it will probably be rain because temperatures are expected to climb toward 40 degrees, Heiser said.

Temperatures are expected to dip to 14 degrees Thursday night and 17 degrees Friday night, according to the National Weather Service.

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