PIKESVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — Numerous crashes were reported around Maryland Thursday as a winter storm moved through the area.
Between 4 a.m. and noon Thursday, state troopers responded to more than 150 crashes and nearly 400 calls for service. They also responded to 93 calls for disabled or unattended vehicles.
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From 4am-12pm, @mdsp has responded to 158 crashes and 93 disabled/unattended vehicles and answered 397 calls for service. The road conditions should still be considered hazardous. Proceed with caution. Follow https://t.co/jxqlSYD4wc for the latest road conditions. #SnowDay2021 pic.twitter.com/YtkbSxddRJ
— MD State Police (@MDSP) February 18, 2021
In total, between 6 a.m. Thursday and 6 a.m. Friday, troopers responded to 383 crashes and 1,277 calls for service, a state police spokesperson said Friday morning.
One of those crashes involved a Montgomery County police cruiser. A county fire department spokesperson tweeted the unoccupied vehicle was blocking the scene of a previous crash on a ramp from the inner loop of Interstate 495 to Route 355 when another vehicle hit the cruiser and tow truck. No serious injuries were reported.
Update – Montgomery County PD on scene assisting @mdsp @mdsha , police cruiser ‘blocking’ protecting scene as cleanup crews worked on previous collision, pictured vehicle struck MC police car (unoccupied) & then collided w/ parked tow truck, no serious injury, ramp now closed https://t.co/b1vSE6mw1U pic.twitter.com/HpW4RiaLc8
— Pete Piringer (@mcfrsPIO) February 18, 2021
In Baltimore, the southbound left tube of the Fort McHenry Tunnel along Interstate 95 was temporarily closed due to a jackknifed tractor-trailer Thursday morning. It has since reopened.
SB I-95 left tube at Ft. McHenry Tunnel temporarily closed for jack-knifed T/T. Right tube is open. #baltraffic
— MDTA (@TheMDTA) February 18, 2021
A spokesperson for the city’s transportation department said plows have been on the roads since 2 a.m. and crews are working nonstop to keep the roads safe. In total, around 400 vehicles are out on the road.
Their main focus was Interstate 83. Crews made repeat passes to treat the highway as well as bridges and primary residential roads citywide.
Each storm requires a different game plan; for this storm, the main hurdle is salt treatment.
“With the temperatures being so cold and it’s continuing to rain frozen water, you know our rock salt is… melting speeds are becoming a little bit impractical with the cold temperatures, so that just means that it’s taking a little bit more for our treatment to work,” German Vigil, the transportation department’s communications director, said.
Elsewhere in the region, multiple lanes of Interstate 95 were closed for about an hour due to a crash in Harford County Thursday morning. The road reopened around 10:20 a.m.
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CLEARED: HaCo NB I-95 right lane remains closed past Mountain Rd. (Ex74) for crash response. #mdtraffic
— MDTA (@TheMDTA) February 18, 2021
Another crash was reported in Baltimore County at I-95 south at Sulphur Spring Road.
— MD State Highway Adm (@MDSHA) February 18, 2021
Officials are asking drivers to stay off the roads.
“There’s black ice,” state police spokesman Ron Snyder said earlier Thursday. “People assume that the roads may be safer than they really are, so we’re asking people, look, if you can stay home today, stay home.”
The wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain was a “mixed bag” for road crews, said Sherry Christian with the State Highway Administration.
“Mother Nature just doesn’t know what she wants to throw at the state of Maryland, does she?” Christian said.
Plow driver Brad Rivera said as he worked, the precipitation changed from heavy snow to sleet and freezing rain.
“Ice isn’t a ‘piece of cake’. I don’t care if you have four-wheel drive. Unless you have chains on all four tires, you’re taking a risk,” he said.
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