Tuesday's snow storm kept emergency crews in Harford and Cecil counties busy as they responded to multiple vehicle accidents, although few were serious.
Emergency officials had braced for more calls for service as the snow continued through Tuesday night, and temperatures near zero were settling over the area. The temperature was expected to slowly struggle out of "arctic" weather conditions into the weekend.
"They're in bad shape," Sgt. Steve Juergens of the Maryland State Police in North East said of the roads in Cecil County late Tuesday afternoon.
He said troopers in his area dealt with mostly minor accidents, such as "fender benders" and vehicles in ditches, during the day.
In Harford County, the 911 center handled more than 30 calls involving traffic accidents, according to a news release from the Harford County Department of Emergency Services, which stated the weather conditions were "deteriorating" as day turned into night.
People were injured in five of the more than 30 accidents handled.
Sgt. Forchion, of the Bel Air Barrack of the Maryland State Police, reported around 4 p.m. that troopers were handling at least three crashes in Harford County, including one at Edgewood Road, one off East Churchville Road and one at Emmorton Road and Route 24.
Forchion, who did not give her first name, said no injuries were reported "at this time" in any of those accidents.
Edward Hopkins, spokesman for the Harford County Sheriff's Office, said via e-mail that "sporadic crashes" had been reported, although none of them were serious.
He said drivers were dealing with "slippery conditions on some secondary roads and some drifting of snow in some places."
Tfc. Zach Esh of the JFK Memorial Highway Barrack in Perryville, which serves I-95, said accidents have been "pretty steady," with many vehicles skidding off the road, although there were no reports of property damage.
State Police representatives said the MSP's Medevac helicopter would not be flying during the snowstorm, so anyone who suffered a serious injury as a result of a crash would be transported by land to the closest hospital.
"Absolutely not," Juergens, of the North East Barrack, said when asked if the helicopter would be flying. "Visibility is too low."
Northern Harford County got up to 10 inches of snow, as expected, according to the news release from the Department of Emergency Services, which cited meteorologists.
Southern Harford got slightly less, at an average of 6 to 8 inches.
The Weather Service also issued a wind chill advisory, which was in effect from 6 p.m. Tuesday through noon Wednesday, according to the news release.
The wind chill Tuesday night and Wednesday morning was as low as 15 degrees below zero, according to NWS.
Wind speeds reached 15 to 25 mph with gusts of 40 mph.
Air temperatures were in the single digits Tuesday night and in the teens Wednesday.
The roads were snow-covered and slippery, and visibility was reduced to less than half a mile often during the storm.
Motorists were advised to travel only in case of an emergency, and bring a blanket, flashlight, food and water in their vehicles.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun