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Second winter storm in Tri-State area within two days left 2.4 inches of snow and ice in Hagerstown

Snow emergency plan lifted in Washington County

December 27, 2012|By DAVE McMILLION | davem@herald-mail.com
  • A car slid off the road and into the median of the Dual Highway on Wednesday morning. Snow, sleet and freezing rain made roads slippery.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

As of 6:46 p.m., the Washington County 911 center had handled a little more than 180 calls throughout the day and evening for crashes and disabled vehicles, a 911 supervisor said.

The snow and ice that fell throughout the day turned Interstate 68 into a parking lot Wednesday afternoon when authorities had to close the road.

The supervisor said I-68 westbound from Hancock to the Allegany County line was closed starting from about 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. because there were so many disabled tractor-trailers and vehicles on the interstate, which made it difficult for snow plows to work on the road, the supervisor said. Eastbound I-68 in the same area also was closed later in the afternoon, officials said.

The 911 center fielded calls from motorists stuck on the interstate, saying they were worried about running out of gas waiting for the interstate to reopen, the supervisor said.

At 6:30 p.m., four plow trucks cleared a path on eastbound I-68 with traffic behind them to reopen the road, a Maryland State Police spokesman said.

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Wednesday’s storm - named Euclid - came two days after another winter storm on Christmas Eve that left 2.9 inches of snow in Hagerstown. That storm also hampered travel by making inclines on some area highways impossible to navigate and reducing traffic to a crawl on Interstate 70.

HMTV 6 meteorologist Brittany Beggs said Euclid was expected to move north of the Tri-State region Wednesday night although area residents could see more snow during Thursday’s morning commute.

The Hagerstown area was expected to possibly see an additional tenth of ice accumulation overnight Wednesday, said Heather Sheffield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.

Wintry precipitation should be over by the end of Thursday’s morning commute then gusty winds are expected to move into the area Thursday, Sheffield said.

Thursday’s high temperature is expected to be near 36 and wind gusts could reach up to 47 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

The high volume of accidents during the day Wednesday prompted weather and safety officials to advise motorists to stay off the roads.

Maryland State Police at Hagerstown said a snow emergency plan was placed in effect in Washington County at 8:45 a.m. because of hazardous driving conditions caused by snow- or ice-covered roads.

When the snow emergency plan is in effect, all vehicles traveling on designated state Snow Emergency Routes must be equipped with chains, snow tires, or all-season radial tires. Vehicles parked on Snow Emergency Routes are subject to being impounded.
 

- Staff writer Dan Dearth contributed to this story.

• For the latest local weather forecasts, go to www.herald-mail.com/hmtv6/weather. Check the HMTV6 weather blog at hagerstownblogs.com/brittany-beggs/ for weather updates.

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