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Maryland snow: Light Rail reopens after service outage in Baltimore, delays at BWI

Maryland travel officials urge motorists to avoid the highways if possible.

Maryland transportation officials urged motorists to avoid driving Tuesday, while the state's major airport was dealing with delays and Baltimore's Light Rail service was shut down for hours.

The initial forecasts Monday called for more snow than eventually fell across much of the Baltimore metro area, though some areas along the Mason-Dixon line had about 6 inches of snow by mid-morning. Ice, however, was causing trouble on roads and rails.

Baltimore officials anticipated more snow before noon, and asked that drivers stay off the roads when possible.

"Roads are in pretty good shape, but there are icy and slushy spots," Acting Transportation Director Frank Murphy said. "You need to be careful if you have to go out, particularly on the side streets. They are calling for a little bit more snow, so our work is certainly not done yet."

Light Rail service was suspended about 9:45 a.m. due to the weather, according to Maryland Transit Administration spokesman Ryan Nawrocki. It reopened about 1:15 p.m.

Buses were put in place to ferry people between stations at Lutherville and North Avenue, North Avenue and Camden Yards, and Camden Yards and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, he said.

"Freezing rain on the catenary wires — they don't mix well," Nawrocki said.

MTA buses were running normally, except for a few normal detours to avoid particularly steep hills, he said.

The commuter bus and MTA Mobility services were canceled due to the weather, but officials planned to open the call center at noon Tuesday to allow people to make reservations for Wednesday, when service will resume.

The MARC trains are running on a limited R schedule.

Baltimore's Metro subway system was operating normally, with about an eight-minute delay in service, Nawrocki said.

"The operation is running smoothly, with relatively minor delays and problems, but nothing that wasn't expected," he said. "We're going to keep on moving along here, and hopefully have Light Rail service restored as soon as possible."

At BWI, a number of flights were canceled early Tuesday and "very limited" operations were expected during the day, officials said. The airport's snow team was "working to clear runways and taxiways for airline operations," according to the BWI Twitter account.

BWI officials recommend that travelers reach out to their airline directly for the most accurate information.

cmcampbell@baltsun.com

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