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Road crews on standby in case of overnight freeze

Agencies gearing up for storm that might hit area next week

January 28, 2011|By KATE S. ALEXANDER |
  • Snarled traffic inches forward Friday morning on West Washington Street after a snow storm created slick roads.
By Kevin G. Gilbert, Staff Photographer

Morning snow created more slick driving conditions across Washington County Friday, just days after snow piled up as much as 10 inches in some parts of the county.

A little more than 1 inch of new snow fell Friday, according to Hagerstown Weather Watcher Greg Keefer's web site,

The National Weather Service accumulation map had the county in the 1-inch-or-less range, weather service spokeswoman Heather Sheffield said.

Edwin Plank, director of the Washington County Highway Department, said enough snow fell Friday morning to cover some secondary county roads and keep crews out clearing and treating roads with salt.

Eric Deike, manager of the Hagerstown Department of Public Works, said city crews also continued treating roads to clear snow from Wednesday's storm and the small accumulation Friday.

"We were done by about 3 p.m. though," he said.

State Highway Administration spokesman David Buck said crews performed regular post-snow maintenance and kept state roads clear, which included trimming trees that threatened roadways with snow-laden branches and clearing storm drains.

Most roads were just wet by afternoon, but Buck said when there is melting during the day, there is always a risk of some refreezing at night. He urged motorists to use caution and common sense.

Temperatures were forecast to remain in the 20s overnight and a chance of snow accumulating to less than half an inch was forecast for Saturday, according to the weather service website.

State, county and city crews all had workers on standby Friday in the event of an overnight freeze, officials said.

The agencies were also gearing up for a storm that might hit the area next week.

The weather service has not forecast accumulation totals or issued any weather alerts, but is continuing to track a potential storm, Sheffield said.

For now, the snow is projected to start falling in the area late on Feb. 1 and continue into Feb. 2, she said.

Buck said that is too far in the future for the state to form a plan of action yet. Many of the storms this year have been unpredictable, he said.

"This past storm was to be 2 to 4 inches, look what happened," he said.

In parts of the state, as much as 12 inches of snow fell, he said.

"We've also had near misses," he said of past storms.

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