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Snowstorm Leaves Md.’s Roads Gridlocked

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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.

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