Clearing skies should mean dry roads for Thanksgiving travel

November 23, 2011

The rain that drenched the Tri-State area earlier this week was expected to move out of the region and offer smooth sailing for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Trina Heiser, a weather technician with the National Weather Service, said the worst motorists could expect was isolated showers Wednesday night.

“The rain is done now,” she said. “I don’t know how it’s going to bother traveling.”

Heiser said the forecast calls for sunny skies from Thanksgiving Day until Sunday, when there will be a 40 percent chance of rain in the evening.

A little more than 2.5 inches of rain fell from Sunday to Wednesday, according to, a website maintained by local weather observer Greg Keefer.

The website said roughly three-fourths of an inch of rain fell on Wednesday.

The recent showers led to flooding that prompted officials to close several roads across Washington County, said Ed Plank, director of the Washington County Highway Department.

“We’ve got some messes,” Plank said. “There’s a lot of washouts. We’ve got some clogged drains from all the leaves and debris.”

Plank said the majority of the roads that are closed were along Antietam and Conococheague creeks.

Any roads along both creeks probably will not reopen until late Thanksgiving morning, Plank said Wednesday afternoon.

About six to eight roads that typically see flooding during heavy rains were affected by the high water along the creeks, Plank said.

High water also closed about two dozen roads and caused moderate flooding along the Monocacy River in Frederick County.

The Frederick Police Department said Wednesday that Gas House Pike between Highland Street and Monocacy Boulevard was closed due to flooding.

Meanwhile, more than 50 roads across West Virginia were closed Wednesday morning because of high water, with flood warnings  in effect for some areas.

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, the state Division of Highways reported road closures in more than a dozen counties, including the Eastern Panhandle, the Mid-Ohio Valley and central West Virginia.

Berkeley County 911 dispatchers said there were no reports of flooding.

A flood warning was also in effect for much of eastern Pennsylvania.

In Fulton County, Pa., Dublin Mills Road in Taylor Township was closed from North Madden Road to the intersection of the Huntingdon County line.

In Franklin County, Pa., a 911 dispatcher said at 12:30 p.m. that there were no reports of flooding or road closures.

— Dan Dearth and Associated Press

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