Garrett County gets early snow as 8 inches fall in Western Md. Fatal accident blamed on hazardous roads

November 09, 1995|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,SUN STAFF

McHENRY -- Snow blanketed Maryland's mountainous, westernmost county yesterday, leaving roads icy and hazardous and causing one fatal accident.

Up to 8 inches of snow fell throughout the day in parts of Garrett County, and a heavy snow warning was in effect through this morning. The snow was expected to taper off into flurries by early today, weather forecasters said.

Forecasters also were calling for scattered snow showers in Allegany County with up to an inch of snow and nighttime temperatures in the teens.

A high-pressure system extending to the Midwest was pushing the snow and cold eastward, creating wind gusts as high as 50 mph in Garrett County and nearby parts of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Snow showers and flurries were reported as far eastward as Frederick County.

The weather system was expected to drop temperatures into the 20s in many parts of Western Maryland last night, but with highs today climbing into the 40s.

"This is early for any kind of accumulation," said Carole Walker, a park ranger at Deep Creek Lake State Park, which was deserted yesterday. "We were out on a boat on the lake at this time last year checking docks and buoys."

State police at McHenry said Alison K. Evans, 44, of Oakland was killed early yesterday when her car went out of control on snow-covered U.S. 219, south of Oakland, and struck the rear of a propane truck. The trucker was not injured. Ms. Evans died at the scene, police said.

"We're just about as 'back-upped' as we can be," said Sgt. Robert Farrell at the McHenry barracks. "We get that lake effect, and the snow just blows real hard. It's cold and blowing, and the roads are freezing over. Cars are hitting guard rails along Interstate 68 and bouncing like ping pongs."

The cold front prompted the Wisp Ski Resort to get its snow-making machines humming, said operations manager Jerry Geisler, who was hoping to have enough snow to open one slope and tow rope by Saturday.

He said the county's first taste of snow had callers inundating the resort's phone lines yesterday. "We should be open now through the rest of the season," he said.

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