Wet, windy weather leads to traffic troubles

October 17, 1991|By Frank D. Roylance and William B. Talbott | Frank D. Roylance and William B. Talbott,Evening Sun Staff

Rain, wind and a chilly, autumnal gloom spread across the Baltimore region today, making streets slick and touching off a rash of fender-bender accidents.

The National Weather Service warned motorists to watch for leaf-clogged drains and standing water on road surfaces.

"When we have rains like this, they should take caution," said Fred Davis, chief weather service meteorologist at Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Gauges at BWI collected three-quarters of an inch of rain between 4:20 a.m. and noon. Winds gusted to 40 mph.

Rush-hour drivers got their fill of rain-slicked roads earlier today. A two-car collision on the southbound Jones Falls Expressway a half-mile south of Northern Parkway jammed up city-bound rush-hour traffic.

One motorist was upset but unhurt after her car flipped over in the northbound Jones Falls Expressway

near Charles Street just before 8 a.m. Two people were reported injured in a rush-hour accident at St. Paul and 39th streets.

Collisions also were reported at Interstate 83 at Padonia Road and on the Beltway's inner loop near Charles Street, adding to the traffic tangles.

The crummy weather rode in ahead of a strengthening low pressure system that was drifting slowly north along the Virginia capes and the Delmarva peninsula.

"It sort of surprised me," said weather service forecaster Bob Melrose, who said he had been off for a few days. "I don't listen to the weather when I'm not working."

The weather service reported wind gusts up to 45 mph in Ocean City, with heavy downpours as the deepening low pressure system approached.

The heaviest rain fell along coastal sections and within 80 miles of the ocean. Frederick was on the western edge of the storm, Melrose said. "We're actually clear [of rain] to the west."

Tides at Ocean City were running two feet above normal. Minor flooding and beach erosion were reported in Delaware, with gale-force north to northeast winds.

Forecasters warned of more light to moderate rain before the storm moved off shore tonight.

The forecast called for the rain to end tonight, with lows of 45 to 50 degrees.

By tomorrow, it will all be forgotten. Skies should be mostly sunny, with highs back in the mid-70s.

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