More than 2 feet of snow fell in parts of Garrett and Allegany counties as the remnants of Hurricane Sandy collided with a cold front backed by polar air, closing east- and westbound sections of Interstate 68 in Western Maryland until late Tuesday morning.

John Darnley, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service's Pittsburgh office, said disruptions to telephone service were hampering efforts to put together a complete picture of the snowfall.

But in Oakland, at 2,500 feet above sea level, the service measured 24 inches, with more coming down Tuesday evening. And In Grantsville, elevation 2,100 feet, 12 inches were observed. In the highest and most remote parts of Garrett County, up to 30 inches were expected.

A blizzard warning remained in effect in the county Tuesday evening, with 5 to 6 inches more likely overnight, Darnley said.

While northwesterly winds blowing down from the Great Lakes bring snow to Western Maryland this time of year, Darnley said the area had received twice the norm because of Sandy.

Parts of Allegany County also got snow Tuesday morning.

The snow shut down government offices and caused trouble on roads in the area.

Eastbound lanes of I-68 opened about 5:30 a.m. Tuesday and westbound lanes reopened about 11 a.m., said Kellie Boulware, a spokeswoman for the State Highway Administration.

About 50 miles of interstate was closed from LaVale, Md., into West Virginia so crews could clear tractor-trailer trucks and passenger vehicles disabled by wet snow and high winds that swept eastward Monday on the edge of the storm.

Garrett County government offices were closed and early voting was canceled Tuesday because of blizzard conditions associated with Sandy. Allegany County government offices opened Tuesday, but early voting was canceled.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

iduncan@baltsun.com

ed.gunts@baltsun.com

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