Winter refuses to leave as snow storm closes schools, slows transportation -- Gazette.Net


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Like an unwanted guest, winter refused to leave Monday, bringing a snowstorm five days after the first day of spring that closed Frederick County and delayed Prince George’s County schools and slowed commutes.

The snowstorm brought 3 to 5 inches of snow to Frederick County by the morning, with an additional 1 to 3 inches expected from light snow showers throughout the day, according to Heather Sheffield, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The snow was expected to taper off before 8 p.m. Monday, mixing over to rain, Sheffield said. Temperatures were expected to be in the low 30s overnight.

During this winter season, the county has had more than 7 of inches of snow, according to weather service figures.

The storm brought the most snow to town’s like Middletown and Myersville, where accumulation readings hit 5 inches, Sheffield said.

Frederick County Public Schools were closed Monday, while most of its offices remained open. Both school system and county government employees were given the option of taking liberal leave. All FCPS afterschool and evening activities are canceled or postponed, according to Frederick County Public Schools.

All county and city government offices were open Monday.

In Prince George’s County, all schools and offices were operating under a two-hour delay. All afternoon and evening activities were canceled, according to Prince George’s County Public Schools.

There was no work-study transportation or half-day Pre-K, ECC. There was also no field trips except for students at the Academy of Health Sciences at PGCC.

Montgomery County Public Schools are on spring break this week. Transportation to private special education schools was canceled.

A two-vehicle fatal crash in Prince George’s County claimed the life of two and injured two others, but officials said the county otherwise weathered Monday’s snowfall relatively well.

Emergency operators had handled only a few calls for minor accidents as of early Monday morning, said Chip Jewell, head of emergency communications for the Frederick County Emergency Management Division.

“It’s really been just about a normal day,” he said. “It’s been a pretty steady day.”

By early morning, the Maryland State Highway Administration had deployed its trucks and personnel statewide to help make driving safer. Crews were salting and plowing roads throughout the morning.

Lt. Todd May, commander of the Frederick barrack of the Maryland State Police, also reported few problems in the morning.

“We’ve had just a few [car] accidents,” he said.

State police put a snow emergency plan in effect for the county at 4 a.m. Monday, requiring motorists to only operate vehicles equipped with snow tires or chains, and designated major area roads as snow-emergency routes. The plan was lifted by 10 a.m..

Frederick city police also had no reported accidents as a result of the weather early Monday morning.

myoung@gazette.net