Wintry Mix Keeping State Road Crews Busy

Motorists urged to slow down if they’re out driving.


Frederick, Md (KM). The rain, sleet and freezing rain  the area is experiencing is expected to continue through Tuesday.

The Maryland State Highway Administration says its crews have been out plowing and treating roads since the weekend. Spokeswoman Shantee Felix says keeping roads passable during different types of precipitation is a challenge. “It’s kind of adapting to weather conditions,” she says. “Weather can change constantly. One minute, you’ll be plowing; the next minute you’ll be applying materials to the roads.

The National Weather Services has placed Frederick, Carroll and Washington Counties in Maryland under a Winter Storm Warning  until 10:00 AM on Tuesday. The forecast calls for snow, sleet and freezing rain. That’s expected to make travel difficult, especially along I-70 near the Pennsylvania state line. These conditions will also affect the Tuesday morning commute.

In addition, the Maryland State Police in Frederick County put  the Snow Emergency Plan in affect beginning at 8:45 PM, and in Washington County at 9:00 PM. . That means motorists should have snow tires, all season radial tires or chains on their vehicles. Studded tires are permitted between November 1st and March 31st. During a Snow Emergency Plan, State Police says motorists are not permitted to park their vehicles along Snow Emergency Routes.

The Snow Emergency Routes in Frederick County are:

U.S. Route 15

U.S. Route 15 (Business)

U.S. Route 40

U.S. Route 40 (Alternate)

U.S. Route 340

MD Route 17

MD Route 26

MD Route 27

MD Route 28

MD Route 31

MD Route 75

MD Route 76

MD Route 79

MD Route 80

MD Route 85

MD Route 140

MD Route 144FA

MD Route 180

MD Route 194

Interstate 70

Interstate 270

If you are out in the wintry weather, Felix says it’s important to take it slow. “You might look outside and talk to some people about the weather and get a little bit overconfident. But the roads can be slippery at some point,” she says. “We always want to remind people that these speed limits were created for dry conditions, ideal weather conditions.”

“Drive slower than usual. Also, if this is the first time going out in your car, we ask that you clear your car completely of ice and snow,” says Fellix. “That’s the kind of thing that can fall off your car in the middle of the roadway and create a hazard for other motorists, and nobody wants that.”

When it’s the precipitation is rain or freezing rain, don’t be fooled by the wet roads, she says. These roads may  contain some icy spots.



By Kevin McManus