Evening commute slow as city prepares for snow

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Rush-hour traffic was backed up in Baltimore Wednesday night as commuters hurried home before a storm that is anticipated to drop between 6 and 8 inches of snow and ice on the area Thursday.

The precipitation should start at about 10 p.m. in the form of rain and sleet, then turn into snow at about 1 a.m., according to the National Weather Forecast. It should fall heaviest through the morning commute and could last all day, through 11 p.m. Thursday.

The Baltimore City Department of Transportation had its tow trucks and salt at the ready in anticipation of the event.

"We're preparing and gearing up for tomorrow," transportation spokeswoman Adrienne Barnes said. "We're telling people to call 311, and we'll have tow trucks available."

A broken down car on Interstate 83 near Northern Parkway was slowing down traffic on the highway during the evening rush Wednesday night, Baltimore police said. Two vehicles crashed on Interstate 95 south near U.S. 1/Caton Avenue at about 7:41 p.m., closing the southbound shoulder, according to the state Department of Transportation.

Barnes said she expected people to heed the snow hazard warnings when driving Thursday, after many were surprised by last weekend's snow. The transportation department's plows planned to begin clearing streets at midnight and continue throughout the day.

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