Snow shuts schools in 3 area counties driving is difficult BWI closes

city may get up to 3 inches, then rain

more snow likely to west

December 10, 1992|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,Staff Writer

The season's first snowfall moved into the Baltimore are about dawn today, closing schools in at least three metropolitan counties, causing scores of accidents and shutting down Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Although snow was expected to accumulate to as much as 3 inches in the immediate Baltimore area, Ken Shaver, a Weather Service forecaster at Baltimore-Washington International Airport, said it likely would change to heavy rain in many areas, with a chance of thunderstorms later today.

That prediction was little comfort to morning rush-hour motorists, particularly those in Cockeysville and Timonium, police said.

As soon as the snow began to fall, it "immediately began to stick," said Sgt. Ronald P. Stotler of the Baltimore County Police Department. "Accidents are all over the place."

At BWI, a snow emergency was declared shortly after 8 a.m. and more than 100 workers using 27 pieces of equipment were sent into action, spokeswoman Adrienne Walker-Pittman said.

She said the airport's two primary runways were being cleared and flights were being diverted to other runways, resulting in delays up to 30 minutes.

Forecasters at Baltimore-Washington International Airport predicted that between 3 to 6 inches of snow would fall in the state's western and central sections, with 1 to 3 inches expected east and south of Baltimore.

Snow and freezing rain began falling before dawn in Western Maryland and later across the state. Forecasters predicted more snow tonight as temperatures drop.

Schools in Allegany, Carroll, Charles, Frederick, Garrett and Washington counties are closed today because of the storm. Schools in Howard and Prince George's counties opened two hours late.

Elementary-school classes were canceled in Baltimore County after 8 a.m. today, with youngsters in some areas already on the streets awaiting school buses and parents having already left for work.

One angry parent called the decision to cancel elementary schools so late as "idiotic," a school spokesman said. Another parent called the school system's decision makers "brain-dead."

School officials in Baltimore City and in Harford County were taking a wait-and-see approach to determine whether students in those jurisdictions were to be sent home early from classes.

After meeting with management early today, stewards at Laurel Race Course canceled the nine-race card.

Snow emergency plans were effect in Allegany, Garrett, Frederick, Montgomery and Washington counties.

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