STATE HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION WARNS MOTORISTS OF POSSIBLE HEAVY RAIN, FLOODED ROADS AND HIGH WINDS FOR EVENING COMMUTE

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(MDOT SHA photo: MDOT SHA Logo)

(April 19, 2013) –Travelers are being placed on alert for the possibility of a severe weather event expected to hit most of  Maryland this evening – possibly impacting the latter portion of the rush hour commute. This storm is predicted to bring wind gusts of an estimated 60 mph. The Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) is alerting motorists to be extra vigilant for potentially heavy rainfall later and curtail travel if conditions warrant.   Truckers are urged to pay close attention to the possibility of gusty cross winds on bridges and plan accordingly.

“The combination of flooding rain and high winds could make for a treacherous drive home this afternoon,” said Melinda B. Peters, SHA Administrator.  “Motorists should not attempt to drive through roadways that are flooded or try to maneuver around downed wires---Turn Around.”

SHA crews are ready to respond with Road Closed and High Water signs, traffic signal repairs and any other incidents along State maintained roads.

Remember, if a traffic signal is flashing completely out due to a power interruption, motorists on ALL legs of an intersection must stop and treat the intersection as a four-way stop as prescribed by Maryland State law.

Motorists are advised to heed the following tips for driving in severe weather:

“Turn Around, Don’t Drown.”  Flash floods can come rapidly and unexpectedly. They can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall;

Avoid low-lying areas with a history of flooding;

Never maneuver around low hanging trees or wires or try to move branches or downed wires out of the travel lanes; and

Increase following distances between vehicles.  Remember to use low-beam headlights when windshield wipers are in operation.

Motorists have a number of options available to check on roadway conditions.   Maryland now features FREE 511 traveler information!  Call 511 or 1-855-GOMD511 or visit: www.md511.org  for current travel information. Sign up to personalize travel route information through MY511 on the website. Remember to use 511 safely - Maryland law restricts hand-held mobile phone use and texting while driving.
 
Live traffic cameras can be accessed by logging onto www.roads.maryland.gov and clicking on the CHART icon.  As always remember to buckle up, leave plenty of travel time and remain alert with no distractions.
      
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