UNDATED- As the region anticipates heavy snow, sleet, freezing rain or a combination of all three, officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration said they are preparing for anything that may come their way.
Officials said crews will begin deployment Wednesday afternoon and continue until roads are safe and passable. They are urging drivers to stay off of the roads during the storm. The evening and Thursday morning rush hour could be the worst of the season, officials noted.
"Our focus today is loading salt trucks, fueling up trucks and servicing equipment. We are monitoring the forecast and preparing for the storm, which has the potential to be one of the worst we have seen in recent years," said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters.
Officials said that at its Statewide Operations Center, the SHA has nearly 700 camera images along state and local roads in every corner of Maryland. Additionally, nearly 39 weather stations with pavement sensors and equipment are available to monitor pavement temperatures, air temperatures, moisture and salinity on roadways across the state. Crews also have access to 14 salt brine facilities and 94 salt barns and domes throughout Maryland.
Officials said the SHA has identified several areas for truckers to park to wait out the storm and avoid problems along highways. Click here for listing of refuge lots for Emergency Truck Parking locations. To assist with traffic management, SHA will position large heavy duty tow trucks in strategic areas along the interstate system for rapid response.
According to officials, intense snow and high winds are possible as the storm develops, resulting in snow blowing back onto travel lanes not long after plow trucks have passed. Crews will actively plow throughout the storm, making several passes along their designated routes. If travel is unavoidable, drivers should not get in the way of plows – maintain a safe distance behind the trucks.
Other advice from the SHA:
Be on the lookout for fallen trees and branches caused by power outages.
According to forecasts, the storm will not only bring heavy, wet snow to much of the state, it will be accompanied by high winds as the storm intensifies. Signal outages are possible, and drivers should approach dark intersections as four-way stops.
All travelers should remain alert for pedestrians and utility crews.
Motorists should clean vehicles off completely before driving. This includes not only glass surfaces but the hood and roof of vehicles, as well as head and tail lights.
Wednesday, July 23 2014 3:49 PM EDT2014-07-23 19:49:09 GMT
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