Residents are urged to take it slow if they must drive on Thursday.
Frederick, Md (KM) The first winter precipitation of the season forecast for Thursday could make traveling very dangerous, especially with freezing rain and possibly sleet in the forecast.
The National Weather Service has placed Frederick and Carroll Counties in Maryland, western Loudon County in Virginia, and Jefferson County in West Virginia under a winter weather advisory beginning at 1:00 AM on Thursday, lasting until 4:00 PM on Thursday.
Spokesman Todd Wivell with the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office says if you don’t have to go out, it’s best to stay home. But if you need to drive, he says leave plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you in case you have to stop. “We want you to put those cell phones down. We know it’s hard to do. Everybody’s doing it. We drive by people everyday with their cell phones up, and we’re asking them to put those cell phones down and give all your attention to the road,” he says.
Along with that, drive below the posted speed limit especially if it’s snowing and icing. Authorities say the speed limit is for ideal conditions when the roads are dry.
If you’re involved in a crash or break down during inclement weather, WIvell says, if possible, move your vehicle off the road. “If there’s bodily injury or harm to someone, then we want you to call 911,” he says. “If it’s a simple incident and you can get off the road and you wait for assistance, then you can 301-600-2071 and that’s our non-emergency line for Frederick County.”
Motorists who are members of AAA often call for a tow truck if they break down, or are in an accident. Wivell says it may be a while before the tow truck comes if there’s snow, ice or sleet. “That’s why we ask you to take those we suggested. Make sure your phones are charged,” he says.
Those items he suggests you keep in your vehicle for wintry weather conditions include an ice scraper, a snow shovel and/or broom, a bag of sand or kitty litter if your vehicle becomes stuck in the snow. Other items include flares, reflective triangles, non-perishable food, water, a first aid kit and a cell phone charger.
MDOT SHA Ready
The Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration is getting ready for the upcoming winter precipitation. “We are already starting an anti-icing operation which involves the use of salt brine and water in preparation for this potential winter storm,” says spokesman Danny Alman.
He says the vertical stripes you see along the road means they have been treated for the winter weather.
MDOT SHA says it’s best to not to go out during the freezing rain unless it’s absolutely necessary But if you must go out, Alman says drive slowly and take your time. “Never pass a snow plow or a plow train where there’s usually a series of trucks working in tandem. They’re clearing the roads ahead of drivers which keeps it safe for everbody,” he says.
Motorists who want to keep track of the latest when it comes to the weather can go on line to roads.maryland.gov, and down load the snow app.
By Kevin McManus