Storm Brings Snow, Ice, Crashes To Maryland

Nearly 8 inches of snow fell Sunday in parts of Frederick County, according to the National Weather Service, and sleet and icy conditions are forecast today.

A spokesman for the NWS said trained weather spotters reported 7.5 inches of snow across the county. On Sunday afternoon, Hagerstown reported nearly 7 inches of accumulation, and Montgomery County reported about 6 inches.

Road crews plowed and treated the roads all day and were scheduled to work overnight. Frederick County Highway Operations trucks were out at 6 a.m. Sunday, said Bill Routzahn, superintendent of the department.

More than 60 county crew members were on the road Sunday, as well as some contractors hired to help with pre-treating. In all, about 90 vehicles were in service or standing by.

Sgt. John Benner, of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office, said about 14 of the agency's vehicles were on the road by 9:30 a.m. Sunday.

"There was more snow than I thought there would be, but I will take that over freezing rain any day," Routzahn said. There were some mechanical problems with equipment, Routzahn said, such as hydraulic hoses breaking on the trucks, but nothing critical.

Law enforcement and fire and rescue personnel responded to numerous crashes Sunday as snow blanketed the region. Maryland State Police implemented its snow emergency plan at 9:45 a.m., followed by the city of Frederick at noon. The city also closed the Talley Recreation Center.

"We saw stranded vehicles because it became very slippery," Routzahn said. "The snow fell and the roads glazed over."

A spokesman at Potomac Edison said there were no reported power losses Sunday evening. Thurmont Mayor John Kinnaird said there were no power problems in the town, which has its own electric power system.

Icy rain is expected to change to rain today, but the Weather Channel is forecasting another 1 to 3 inches of snow on Tuesday. The rest of the week is forecast to be cloudy but very cold, with temperatures in the 30s at daytime and in the teens at night.

The SHA urged motorists to slow down and give crews space to work. Roads may appear to be clear, but ice is difficult to detect and more difficult to treat than snow, the agency said in a statement. Statewide, more than 1,800 trucks were plowing and treating state numbered roads Sunday.

Routzahn said his office was watching for the potential of 1 to 2 inches of snow on Tuesday.

"But that could change," he said.

Frederick city residents or owners of property in the city are responsible for clearing snow and ice from sidewalks for a width of at least 4 feet. This must be completed within six hours after snow has stopped falling or drifting. If the snow falls between 5 p.m. and 7 a.m., the sidewalk must be clear by 1 p.m. the next day. The city can issue a municipal infraction of $100 if snow and ice is not removed within the time and manner of the city code.

For a list of current incidents from the Maryland State Highway Administration, visit www.md511.org or www.chart.state.md.us.

Drivers can also sign up for SHA's "511 Traveler Information" system by calling 511 or visiting www.MD511.org.

Up-to-date road conditions and live traffic cameras are also available at www.roads.maryland.gov. ___

(c)2013 The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.)

Visit The Frederick News-Post (Frederick, Md.) at www.fredericknewspost.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services



Winter Weather