Ice causes closures, delays

by Geoff Fox

Old Man Winter decided to show his handiwork on Thursday, December 15, as an ice storm blew into the area, putting a coating of ice on everything.

The storm warranted the National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington DC office to issue an Ice Storm Warning for Washington County that morning at 9:42 a.m. and remained in effect

until 10 p.m. that evening.

According to the warning, there was to be “significant” icing with accumulations ranging from a tenth of an inch to a quarter inch below 1,000 feet with a quarter to half an inch above 1,000 feet.

Sleet accumulations were to be around a coating to an inch, especially near the Maryland/Pennsylvania border.

Because of the pending weather, Washington County Public Schools issued a two-hour delay for schools on Wednesday night, December 14, but changed it in the morning to a full closure.

Southern Fulton School District also started with a two-hour delay on Wednesday night but changed  it to “school closed” on Thursday morning.

A post on the district’s social media page said students would make up the missed day on Monday, February 20, 2023.

Hancock town officials had scheduled the monthly town meeting and a public hearing for Thursday evening, but canceled both.

In a text message, Town Manager Mike Faith told The Hancock News the December town meeting would not be rescheduled this month as there would be no way to cram the meeting in between now and the new year.

He also said they’d have to re-advertise the public hearing related to the town seeking grants from the Maryland Community Development Block Grant program.

Road precautions taken

State road crews were out on Wednesday afternoon preparing the roads in Hancock with a brine mixture.

In Pennsylvania, PennDot reduced speed limits on Interstate 70 in Fulton County with a Tier 1 restriction from the Pennsylvania Turnpike (Breezewood) to the Maryland state line at 1 a.m. Thursday morning.

A Tier 1 restriction focuses on tractor-trailers, passenger vehicles towing trailers, recreational vehicles or motorhomes, school buses, commercial buses and motor coaches, and motorcycles not being permitted on affected highways.

No major road incidents or widespread power outages were reported as a result of the ice storm. Falling branches due to the weight of the ice on limbs did pose a problem in the area.

An ice storm blew the area on Thursday, December 15, causing schools and businesses to close and travel a little on the slick side. While dangerous on the roads, the ice coated trees and leaves leaving shots like this around the area.