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Road conditions vary from Maryland to Pa. and W.Va.

February 01, 2011

Authorities in the Tri-State area reported a variety of road conditions this morning.

Maryland State Police Lt. Tom Woodward said state roads were in good condition following an ice storm that hit the region Monday night and this morning.

"We haven't had any real problems outside the ordinary," Woodward said. "The (Maryland State) highway administration seems to have done a good job ... We always urge people to take caution. Right now, we're not experiencing any major problems."

Washington County's Snow Emergency Plan was lifted at 9 a.m.

The roads were a little more treacherous to the north, Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Angel Garcia said.

"The roads are icy and slippery," Garcia said. "But they are passable."

Garcia urged motorists in Pennsylvania to keep a safe distance between their vehicle and the vehicle in front of them to avoid rear-end collisions.

"Just give yourself a little more time to get where you're going," he said.

Garcia said no accidents had been reported to the Chambersburg barrack during the morning commute.

Roads in West Virginia were still slick this morning, Berkeley County Sheriff's Capt. Scott Richmond said.

"They're a little icy," Richmond said at about 8:40 a.m. "They're slick. We're working a couple of (minor) accidents right now."

Richmond said road conditions were particularly bad in low-lying areas, where ice accumulated quickly and stayed intact. He also urged people to be careful when they pull into parking lots because they haven't been treated as heavily as the roadways.

The icy conditions closed schools and delayed some openings.

By about 7:30 a.m., two-tenths of an inch of precipitation had fallen overnight in Hagerstown, according to weather observer Greg Keefer's website at http://i4weather.net.

The region remains under a winter weather advisory until noon, according to the National Weather Service. Then, with a second round of icy precipitation expected to fall tonight, a winter storm watch will be in effect from this evening until Wednesday morning, according to the National Weather Service.

Light freezing rain and freezing drizzle has fallen, but is expected to stop for a period this afternoon, the weather service said.

Light snow and sleet are expected to fall this evening, the weather service said.

The weather service said that up to three-tenths of an inch of ice could accumulate tonight.

The National Weather Service said the icing will be worse the lower temperatures fall.

The temperature at 10:30 a.m. in Hagerstown was 30 degrees.

Maryland's State Highway Administration said crews responded to reports of icy conditions in the northern and western counties.

The SHA said although the storm started as light snow and drizzle in most areas, temperatures below freezing were causing a thin layer of ice to form on roadways and vehicles.

Four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles are at as much risk of sliding as a front wheel drive vehicle, the SHA cautioned in an e-mailed release.

With a second round of icy precipitation expected tonight, the SHA said it alerted truckers to the situation so they could delay travel if possible.

Washington County Public Schools are closed today, as are those in Frederick County.

Hagerstown Community College delayed opening until 10 a.m.

In West Virginia's Eastern Panhandle, Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties public schools are closed today and Blue Ridge Community and Technical College was scheduled to open at 11 a.m.

In Pennsylvania, Chambersburg Area School District, Greencastle-Antrim School District, Waynesboro Area School District and Central Fulton School District are among those closed.

Frederick County implemented its snow emergency plan at 3 a.m., as a result of weather and road conditions. It was lifted at 10 a.m.

Frederick County Government was operating under the liberal leave policy today, with essential employees required to report on time.

The Frederick Board of County Commissioners canceled a work session this morning.

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