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Drivers, Beware! Winter Weather Makes For Icy Morning Commute

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Derek Valcourt 370x278 Derek Valcourt
Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Winter storm trifecta. Snow, ice and sleet strike the area, sending cars down ditches and closing roads.

Derek Valcourt has more on the messy weather and how it’s being dealt with.

The good news is — there’s very little traffic. That will help plows and the salt trucks get their work done because the real concern now is for the morning commute.

Slipping tires were the norm around the region. Because once it started, the snow piled up fast, catching many drivers by surprise.

“The roads just got white really quick,” said Deana Cardin.

For some, bravery was brief. A short drive was enough to change minds and cancel plans.

“I think the better part is just to quit and start another day,” said Don Schwarzkoph.

Those who didn’t, found it tough and slow going.

“Anywhere near a hill there were problems getting through the intersections,” Debbie Andrew said.

Side roads were especially a mess, but they weren’t alone.

“So I was like, ‘You know what? I’ll take the highway and that will be faster.’ It was not. That was a really bad idea,” said Omari Jeremiah. “The highway was barely moving. We were going 20 miles an hour. From Baltimore to Towson, it took us an hour to get here.”

The majority of accidents involved single cars sliding into sidewalks and guardrails.

Despite the constant work of plow trucks and thousands of tons of salt, the weather forced the cancellation of the mayor’s annual Christmas parade and kicked city emergency operations into high gear.

“Know what you’re dealing with before you get out on the roadways. Make sure if you’re going out, it’s for a good reason, especially in these threatening conditions,” Mayor Rawlings-Blake said.

State highway crews — monitoring the roads around the clock — are concerned about icing and the potential impact on what could be a treacherous morning commute.

“We are certainly going to keep all of our crews out throughout the entire evening and continue to treat these roads,” said Dave Buck, Maryland State Highway Administration.

It’s a warning that the morning will take time and patience and maybe a little cooperation.

In fact, authorities recommend you get up extra early Monday and check on the conditions of your route before you head out the door.

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