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NEWS RELEASE



STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION WARNS MOTORISTS TO PREPARE FOR DIFFICULT THURSDAY AFTERNOON COMMUTE

Crews Tracking Southern Storm that May Affect Central and Southern Maryland Thursday Afternoon

(January 16, 2013) – While the forecast for Thursday is still uncertain, Maryland may see snow by the afternoon drive time, particularly in areas to the south.  During the next 24 hours, Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) crews are preparing trucks, loaders and other equipment in anticipation of the storm.  Since the storm is predicted to start as rain, crews will not spray salt brine in advance of the precipitation.

“Many commuters, especially south of Baltimore, should get into work with little difficulty, but may experience wintry conditions by Thursday afternoon’s rush hour. Each of us needs to assume the worst and have a plan,” said Melinda B. Peters, SHA Administrator.  “Storms during afternoon rush hours pose certain challenges because SHA snow plows are driving in rush hour traffic, making snow clearing more difficult.  If the forecast calls for snow during any commute and you want to avoid hours of traffic congestion, it is best to leave early, telecommute or stay late until the snow stops.”

Although forecast models vary, SHA crews are loading trucks, organizing personnel and consulting with the National Weather Service and other forecasters as they track the storm.  

Citizens should plan ahead for changing weather conditions.  You may only have to travel several miles for conditions to vary greatly.  Truck drivers and distribution companies need to monitor conditions closely and alter travel times to avoid problems on the highways.  Remember to “Take It Slow on Ice and Snow” while traveling and leave plenty of time to reach your destination.  Never pass snow plows or plow trains as the untreated roadway is in front of them and the plowed/salted road is behind.

Check real-time commuter information by calling 5-1-1 or visiting www.md511.org and “Know Before You Go.”   Get SHA alerts for major incidents on Twitter @MDSHA.  You can also “like” SHA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MarylandStateHighwayAdministration.

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