Snowstorm Leaves Md.’s Roads Gridlocked

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A snowstorm left Maryland crippled. Major highways were clogged with cars simply stuck not going anywhere. A tractor-trailer crashed at I-83 and the Beltway—forcing some commuters to abandon their cars on the highway.

Kelly McPherson was out in the elements where many drivers have been stuck.

To say that this is a mess is an understatement. You won’t believe how bad the roads have been in the Towson and Cockeysville area. There were cars disabled in the middle of the road. Even buses and police cars could not get through the slush on major roads.

If drivers were out anytime after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, there’s a good chance–no, a great chance– that you had some trouble.

“Yeah, I’ve been sliding a lot,” said Chuck Miller, driver. “I think maybe even a plow is having some problems.”

I-83 North was closed from President Street to Cold Spring Lane because of accidents. There have been spun-out cars across the area.

Some WJZ viewers waited more than 2.5 hours on exit ramps to get off of 695.

“It’s just bad all over,” said Joe Gray, driver. “I mean, one area is just as bad as the next.”

Other motorists were stranded for more than eight hours, with some posting their frustrations on WJZ.COM once they got home in the middle of the night.

“My sister – Brenda Lyerly – has been stuck on the highway since 6 p.m. , and it is now 2 a.m. Thursday morning. Running out of gas, PLEASE HELP!” wrote Mark Lyerly.

A motorist who identified herself as “Kari,” wrote in response to Mark’s comment: “Mark, I hope Brenda made it home. I was almost out of gas when we started moving at 2:30 a.m. on I-83N. I had been there since 6 p.m. Maybe she was one of my car neighbors, haha.”

Plows were out, but couldn’t clear the streets because stuck cars were in the way.

Commuters have been told by city and state officials to stay off of the road Wednesday night.

“Right now Baltimore City has approximately 150 crews out working on the roadways throughout the night, making sure that things are in good shape for rush hour tomorrow morning,” said Kathy Chopper, City Department of Transportation.

By the time that the second round of snow started to fall, Maryland was already behind.

“Because of the way the precipitation has come with the heavy early rains, we have not been able to successfully pre-treat the surfaces as we might have in another event,” said Gov. Martin O’ Malley.

Kai Jackson reports along Falls Road with more on how people are dealing with the snow.

Casualties of the snow are everywhere.

A family says an unmarked police cruiser hit their car at 41st and Edgehill Avenue in Medfield. Fortunately, no one was hurt.

“This is horrible,” said Linnea Jone of Catonsville. “I can’t believe it. We were coming from the supermarket, and we got hit by the police.”

The storm hit BWI-Marshall airport hard. A large number of arriving and departing flights were canceled. Some of those cancellations were a result of the storm here. Others were a result of weather problems in other states.

Interstate-83 northbound in Baltimore was gridlocked. The storm hit so fast, plows couldn’t keep up.

One commuter said on “83 North, there was 10 cars that were backwards,” said Ashley Shanholtz of Pikesville.” So, it was miles and miles of just backed-up traffic.”

The storm hit Marylanders fast and claimed victims by the dozens. At the intersection of St. Paul and 33rd Street, there was a stuck U-Haul truck. Further down St. Paul was a stuck MTA bus—it was not going anywhere.

Some decided to venture out on foot– curious about the storm and many simply anxious to find a good meal.

But there’s a danger out here. Lightning flashed during our interview.

“I always sort of dream of that winter wonderland when you’re snuggled up inside and you’ve got the fire going,” said Julia Hobbs, Johns Hopkins sophomore.

This storm has steamrolled parts of Maryland. From Baltimore to BWI-Marshall airport, the snow has shut down roads and runways.

The other major issue we’re dealing with right now is power outages. More than 122,000 BGE customers do not have power.

  • Snow Storm Leaves Md.’s Roads Gridlocked | Natural Disasters

    […] A snow storm is leaving Maryland crippled. Major highways are clogged with cars simply stuck not going anywhere. A tractor trailer crashed at I-83 and the beltway—and forcing some commuters to abandon their cars on the highway. Read the full story about Snow Storm Leaves Md.’s Roads Gridlocked […]

  • Tyra

    Who the heck is it that you call when your car disables on 695 and your in a lane and cant get over? OH yeah not to mention, tow trucks won’t help!

    • CAMRY 1

      You call “COMMON SENSE”, because you knew it was coming!!

  • D. Bos.

    People don’t know how to drive when it’s pressure on them!!!! People all you need to do is use common sense, I said common sense!!!! My 2002 Eddie Bauer Expedition with the $1300 Michelins walked around so many cars and trucks with so much confidence, I thought it was thinking on it’s own.. I’ve been in Balt. for 20 yrs and never got stuck in the snow.. A Camry and Ford Expedition, neither has failed me….

    • Heartsong

      $1300 and Eddie Bauer Expedition? Must be nice to have money. Those tires alone are 3x my monthly disability income. $200 tires on my little Honda Civic and 20 years of New England winters and I have little problem making it through the snow, slush, or across ice. It just takes being alert, feeling how the vehicle is reacting, and knowing what to do (and doing it) when you lose traction. I may slide at times, but I have yet to wipe out or get stuck.

      Winter weather tips- Always keep gloves, flashlight with fresh batteries, blanket, non-clumping kitty litter or sand and a collapsible shovel in your trunk. Sprinkle the litter or sand beneath the tires when you’re stuck in a slick patch, use the shovel if you need to dig yourself out, the gloves if you have none or need a dry pair, and the blanket to help keep yourself warm til help arrives if all else fails.

  • Mark A. Lyerly

    My sister – Brenda Lyerly – has been stuck on the highway since 6pm, and its is now 2am Thursday morning. Running out of gas, PLEASE HELP!

    • Kari

      Mark I hope Brenda made it home. I was almost out of gas when we started moving at 230 am on 83N. I had been there since 6 pm..maybe she was one of my car neighbors, haha.

    • Heartsong

      My prayers to her that she gets out soon. Wish I could help, but disability-wise, I can neither go far, nor do much to help someone get unstuck once I got there.

      • Mark A. Lyerly

        Thanks for the prayers – Heartsong!

  • doubleju

    “Some decided to venture out on foot– curious about the storm and many simply anxious to find a good meal”

    “Curious” about the storm? Never seen snow? “Anxious” to find a good meal? Don’t these people know how to cook at home?

    • Heartsong

      I think snow makes people forget how to cook and survive for a few hours or a day or two without “necessities”. A stash of Ramen noodles, water from the tap (or a jug if you were smart enough to have some on hand) and a washcloth to wipe yourself. It’s not high class, but it’s survival. No electricity? Tea lights provide not only light, but they get hot enough to do some minor cooking over. Enough, at least, to heat water for those noodles (which can also be eaten dry). Bored? Read by candlelight or introduce yourself to your neighbors and interact!

      • Chrissy Mad Anderson

        Not all of us have the ability to eat Ramen and bread.

  • Brenda

    What about the hundreds of cars on Westbound 70 between 94 and 27. My husband sat still for 6 hours tonight and there was not one report on the news as to why or what was happening!! He sat with his engine off most of the time to save gas. Hundreds, stranded from 7:30 pm to 1:15am.

  • matt

    Eastbound 70 is still shut down. I have been sitting here since 1am and its now 430am. I left home at 1030 so I could be at work by 630 and I’m still over an hour away with normal driving conditions. I wish the state would get their act together! Its almost like they have never seen snow before!

  • Thomas mize

    6 hours in cecil county without electric. Can someone tell me how wide spread it is ? And what is-the problem?

  • Kari

    I just walked in to my house at 3 am after sitting on 83N for 8 1/2 hours! I was only 2 miles from 695 and we did not move for 8 1/2 hours. None of the news stations including, and wbal 1090 am stated what the problem was. I can understand traffic, I sit in it every day, but to be completely stopped, car turned off to conserve gas, and not move more than a fewfeet over an 8 hour time period is ridiculous. Maryland totally failed us on this storm. Absolutely ridiculous!

    • Felix

      I was there too. I agree with you Kari they radio stations where ridiculous about that and not doing a good job. And they want to claim that they are your leader in news HA HA.

  • Mel

    Y will No one talk about i70

  • Benjamin W. Fish Sr.

    should have listen to your radio and left work earlier

    • Felix

      The radio here gave little to none information in what was going on. The also did not update to the radio where and were the accidents are ocurring. They did it thoughout the TV great people do not have TV in the cars so they have radios. That is not an excuse to the lack of common sense on the people in these town. However the media also stink and they do not do a great job either. Name to me a radio station that give you accurate traffic updates in the Baltimore area. Do not state WTOP they do DC from 695 south. Thanks

  • ALeigh

    Tis the reason why you should always make sure tank is above 1/2 way. Also, it’s winter, keep a survival pack in your car for safety precautions.

    Boyfriend got stuck on beltway from 6pm to 1am. He didn’t freak out… he had his pack (sleeping bag, water, snack, more than 1/2 tank gas) When you are prepared it sure eases the stress!

    Get smart people!

  • mamaangel

    In this type of weather you have to pack as if you are going to get stranded..Pack a few blankets/sleeping bag, heavy snow boots, hat, gloves, scarf, food and water and please make sure the car is filled with gas. All of your comments are a testament to the worse that could happen..Hoping everyone got home safely last pm or early this am

  • Danielle

    All this mess sounds a lot like the mess that California was going through when they had their little 3 or 4 inches of snow … only difference is we probably quadrupled that, and we get this much snow every year! They don’t… I dont understand why when the news says “thunder snow” people don’t decide to take off or leave work early. And after all the snowy winters this state has experienced, why oh why were people still trying to venture out, getting stuck on side streets, clogging up streets so plows couldn’t get through … absolutely ridiculous. We need to do better than this ppl. Knowing a storm would hit, I caught the subway to work this morning and did everything I could to get off by 3:00. Its called common sense.

  • Larine Harper

    Typical Marylanders not using good common sense. Now you want to blame it on the snow crew because you failed to get home before 4pm. Hellllo….We knew the storm was coming. Next time …THINK!!!!! You travel the same roads everyday. You know how long it takes to get home….waiting the last minute was not a good idea. Everyone should have allotted more time. Seems like no one had a back up plan.
    While you were grid locked on several interstates….I was safe at home. Why you ask? I used GOOD COMMON SENSE.

    • David

      Some of you keep saying “you should have left work early”. Not all of us have jobs that we can just leave (military, police, firefighters for example). Once again, some folks are paying the price and get sarcastic comments and negativity for it. I am military and sat in the gridlock for nearly 7 hours yesterday, not because im an idiot, or have no common sense, but because that is what happened. No big deal, it is a new day, move on already.

  • Felix

    I was in stuck in 83 for about 3hr. What it was extremly hard to belived is how the media did not gave more information in the road conditions. All the information was given over the TV and not over the Radio. Remember Geniuses Drivers do not have TV in the car is RADIO. It shows again how these city lack of a good Radio station with appropriate and good information to listen too. Maybe you should take a look how WTOP does it. Thanks.

  • Karen in Canton

    NO amnesty for drivers who abandon their cars. People need to be more prepared.
    With our strange winters, always have at least 1/2 tank of gas, a flashlight, old blanket, carry a snow shovel or chains in your trunk and a extra pair of old snow boots. And know every exit off the expressways and through town to get to your home or destination. You don’t need GPS. You just have to learn emergency routes.

  • Celica

    You should think …. You should’ve been prepared… listen to the radio…. leave work early ….. I got stuck for X-hours… I this I that…..
    None of you has asked, what happened to the person that drove the tractor- trailer, if there was anyone else injured??? If they made it???
    As much as I can see, thank god all of you made it home safe.
    All I can say is, I hope that everyone that was out there in the snow and in that gridlock got home safe and sound.

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  • twan

    Will there be school wesdday

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