A day after the big snow, drivers find main roads clear, back roads not

January 27, 2011|By HEATHER KEELS |
  • Motorists make their way along snow-covered Poffenberger Road in Washington County on Thursday.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

HAGERSTOWN — Drivers running errands around the Hagerstown area Thursday morning said they were generally satisfied with progress crews had made clearing Wednesday's 8 inches of snow from area roads.

"(The roads) could be a little better, but, you know, they are what they are," said David Funk, 22, of Hagerstown, who drove from Downsville Pike to the Martin's on Wesel Boulevard late Thursday morning.

"At least they got all the main roads done," Funk said.

At about 11 a.m., Dual Highway, Virginia Avenue, Downsville Pike and Oak Ridge Drive were well-plowed, while Burhans, Wesel and Massey boulevards were still partially snow-covered.

Residential streets off those roads, such as Lanvale Street, Coffman Avenue and Roessner Avenue, were still covered with snow and slush at about 11:30 a.m.

East First Street, off Frederick Street south of Hagerstown, was caked in snow as of about 11 a.m.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said some Hagerstown streets weren't cleared because the snow was falling too fast for road crews to keep pace.

"I know they were working since 7 Wednesday morning for the first snowfall we had," Bruchey said. "We didn't have any equipment break down. We were just trying to keep up with snow that was falling at 2 inches per hour."

On Thursday morning, slush, ice and snow still covered or partially covered many of the city's roads, including Frederick Street and Maryland and Virginia avenues.

Bruchey said the city also has many new snowplow drivers, who could have slowed the removal efforts.

"I don't know if that had a bearing on it or not," Bruchey said. "We were working as hard as we could."

Lauren Kalbfleisch, 31, of Greencastle, Pa., said she had to leave 15 minutes early to get to her job at Martin's on time.

She said she wished crews would start clearing the roads earlier to accommodate workers with early shifts.

Ralph Cross, 65, of Hagerstown, said the roads "weren't bad" when he made the short drive from West Church Street to the Exxon on North Burhans Boulevard after a morning of shoveling snow.

Cross, a former state employee, said he thought state crews do a better job of clearing snow than city crews.

"I think they do (a good job) all the time, getting them cleared off right away," James Brown, 63, of Hagerstown, said of the city's snow removal crews.

Brown said Wednesday's snow was "nothing" compared to what he used to drive on when he lived in North Dakota.

"I don't care how bad it gets, I can drive," he said.

Suzee Little, 36, of Waynesboro, Pa., said The Terrace and Northern Avenue were some of the worst roads she saw as she drove through Hagerstown at around 11 a.m.

"The main roads are good, but the back roads look like they haven't been touched," Little said.

Overall, she said, Hagerstown-area roads were better than those in Pennsylvania.

"I'm surprised how well they cleared the main roads," she said.

Pia Burns, who lives near Hagerstown but works at City Hospital in Martinsburg, W.Va., said her normal 15- to 20-minute commute took her more than an hour Wednesday night.

She said she got off the highway early in hopes that Virginia Avenue and Halfway Boulevard would be a clearer route home, but both roads were snow-covered at around 10 p.m. Wednesday night, Burns said.

"That was treacherous," she said.

— Staff Writer Dan Dearth contributed to this story.

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