By McKenna Oxenden
Source Baltimore Sun
Emergency officials across Maryland are urging drivers to delay their Tuesday morning commute because of icy roads following the first snowstorm of the new year.
“Cold temperatures and water from melted snow will result in patchy ice on area roads this morning,” reads a National Weather Service alert. “This will be especially problematic on untreated roadways. Motorists should exercise extra caution, and assume that any surfaces which look wet or slushy may in fact be icy.”
The Maryland State Highway Administration encouraged commuters to let “crews continue to treat and clear roadways” before getting in the car, the agency said in a tweet.
Gov. Larry Hogan’s spokesman, Mike Ricci, also reminded drivers that salt becomes less effective when temperatures dip below 20 degrees.
Numerous schools and universities closed or delayed opening Tuesday morning as a precaution against the weather and icy roads. Baltimore County Public Schools was the latest to revise a two-hour delay to a full closure at 6:30 a.m. Several government-run coronavirus testing and vaccination sites in Anne Arundel, Prince George’s and Harford will open at noon instead of earlier in the morning.
Overnight Monday, temperatures dropped into the teens and as of about 7 a.m., had only yet warmed up to 16 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters predict it’ll be a high of 36 degrees and cloudy on Tuesday.
Maryland State Police reported responding to more than 200 crashes, more than 250 disabled vehicles and over 1,000 calls for service between 3:30 to 5:30 a.m., according to an official tweet.
“There’s still concern for icy conditions today so please proceed with caution,” MSP officials said.
Monday’s storm dumped more than a foot of snow on some parts of Anne Arundel County and Southern Maryland, while Carroll County received a dusting, with less than an inch of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
The snow, which began before 6 a.m. Monday and lasted until midafternoon, caused havoc at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. At least 256 flights were canceled amid the storm, according to data from FlightAware.
The snowstorm also shut down Interstate 95 in parts of Virginia, including in Alexandria and Fredericksburg, leaving drivers stranded for more than 12 hours. As of Tuesday morning, numerous drivers were still waiting to be rescued, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.