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Messy Morning Commute Slows Traffic To A Crawl

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Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Icy and dicey. If you were caught in Friday morning’s unexpectedly slippery commute, you know what a mess it was.

Alex DeMetrick has details of winter’s quick hit.

It may not have lasted long, but the snow couldn’t have hit at a worse time.

Horsepower was ground down next to nothing by a thin layer of snow that came in a sudden burst just before dawn. And there was  a second blast just after sunrise.

“Suddenly the two storm patterns came through and it stuck to the roadways, so you had numerous minor accidents,” said Sgt. Robert Petras, Maryland State Police.

“The drive was horrendous. Cars sliding like it was an ice skating rink,” a commuter said.

Snow was still falling during the start of the commute, slowing traffic to a crawl on main routes. But it was in neighborhoods and side roads where treacherous conditions stretched well into the day.

In Carroll County, it closed down the schools and strong wind gusts moved snow off fields and construction sites back onto the roads. It kept salt trucks busy for much of the day, many of which got a late jump because of slicker than expected conditions.

“It’s really slippery. Pretty nasty out here really. Secondary roads are the worst,” a salt truck driver said.

And that’s where the bulk of the accident happened. Many, simple spin-outs where snow hardened into black ice. Others were closer calls, where cars heading down hills slammed into vehicles in intersections.

“Lady coming down the hill couldn’t stop, so she slid right through the intersection. I’m just glad. A couple of seconds it could have been this door. I’m just glad everybody’s alright,” said Jason Hewitt, Carroll County.

And according to police, cars slowed by the slippery conditions kept serious accidents to a minimum.

Meteorologist Tim Williams reports Friday is another windy and cold day. It should be about 35 degrees.

Super Bowl weekend will be windy and cold. Saturday will be sunny and cold, followed by yet another chance for light snow by later Saturday night and early Sunday morning. Light snow amounts are expected then, too.

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