Scores of motorists crashed or found themselves stuck in the snow as parts of Frederick County experienced between 2 and 6 inches of snow as of early evening Thursday.
Maryland State Police’s Frederick Barrack implemented a snow emergency plan on highways at 3 a.m. Thursday ahead of the expected snowfall. The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a winter storm warning for the area Thursday morning, but meteorologist Luis Rosa said there shouldn’t be precipitation come Friday morning.
The least recorded snowfall in Frederick County measured 1.9 inches in Adamstown Thursday, according to Rosa. In the Bloomfield area north of Frederick city, 6.3 inches of snow accumulated. Rosa anticipated light precipitation Thursday night and said roads could refreeze in the morning, but the temperature may reach the upper 30s Friday.
Still, the roads and sidewalks around Frederick were flush with ice and slush for the bulk of the day Thursday and into the nighttime.
Maryland State Police responded to 70 calls for service in the county between 4 a.m. and 4 p.m., including 21 vehicle crashes and 16 disabled or unattended vehicles, First Sgt. Jim Egros said.
The Frederick Police Department logged two vehicle crashes and two disabled vehicles, Lt. Andrew Alcorn said at about 5 p.m.
And Frederick County Sheriff’s Office responded to six noninjury vehicle crashes, one with injury and five disabled vehicles, spokesman Todd Wivell said just before 6 p.m.
The MSP’s Egros encouraged drivers to exercise caution, since roadways may still be icy. Bridges, overpasses and other elevated surfaces may be especially slick.
When the snow emergency plan is in effect, Maryland law requires drivers to operate vehicles equipped with snow tires as designated by the manufacturer or equipped with chains, according to the state police. Studded tires are allowed from Nov. 1 through March 31. During a snow emergency, vehicles cannot be parked on snow emergency routes.
Maryland State Police snow emergency routes include: U.S. Route 15; U.S. Route 15 (Business); U.S. Route 40; U.S. Route 40 (Alternate); U.S. Route 340; Md. Route 17; Md. Route 26; Md. Route 27; Md. Route 28; Md. Route 31; Md. Route 75; Md. Route 76; Md. Route 79; Md. Route 80; Md. Route 85; Md. Route 140; Md. Route 144FA; Md. Route 180; Md. Route 194; Interstate 70; and Interstate 270.
Frederick city and county government operations and offices were closed Thursday, as was Frederick County Public Schools. No decision on Friday closures had been announced as of 6:25 p.m.