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Maryland Digs Out, But Thawing Out Will Be Harder With Persistent Cold & Ice

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digging out car, snow
Alex DeMetrick 370x278 Alex DeMetrick
Alex DeMetrick has been a general assignment reporter with WJZ...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ)—It was a busy day for road crews, as many folks are cleaning off cars and getting back on the streets.

Alex DeMetrick has more on how Marylanders are digging out from the storm.

Getting back to normal is being hindered by abnormal temperatures.

The sun may have been up, but so was the wind. And with it, biting cold temperatures…just as forecasted.

“You’re getting it right this year, no false alarms,”  said a woman while digging her car out the snow.

But that was cold comfort when it came to digging out. At least the snow is powdery.

Still, “it’s not a winter wonderland. It’s a winter horror land is what it is,” said Douglas Kirk, of Rodgers Forge.

“This is so ironic that this Miami girl would be doing this crap,” a woman said while digging her car out of snow.

While Tuesday’s storm put property owners to work, road crews were also at it. But it wasn’t salting as usual.

“Our big challenge today is the super cold temperatures. When the temperature’s really low it makes the salt we put down less effective,” said Cathy Chopper, Baltimore Transportation Department.

That means some neighborhoods and side roads will likely hold onto snow cover longer.

And it isn’t helped by wind that blows it back onto cleared surfaces.

But even roads swept clean can trigger multi-car fender benders.

The accidents “appear to be weather-related. We’ve heard some reports of black ice in the area,” said Jeff Long, Sky Eye Chopper 13.

But more than water is freezing.

Icy temperatures are making it difficult for plow drivers, as salt is freezing solid in trucks.

“At these temperatures, it’ll freeze in our trucks, and it lumps up, giving us a difficult time to spread it out evenly of the highway,” said Tim Mull, plow driver.

Some drivers were forced to dump salt at domes, so heavy equipment can break it up for re-loading and spreading.

“Our main concern is getting that salt out on the roads and keep it from icing up and keep the people safe,” said Larry Hayensworth, plow driver.

The issue of salt’s reduced effectiveness against ice is prompting police agencies to urge people to drive with caution.

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