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Slippery morning commute possible with higher temperatures on the way

A winter weather reprieve hasn't yet hit Carroll, as 2 to 4 inches of snow has been predicted to fall overnight and leave tomorrow morning's commute slippery.

The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for Carroll from 10 p.m. Monday until 6 a.m. Tuesday. With that could come several inches of snowfall, likely beginning around midnight and wrapping up around 6 a.m., according to Carl Barnes, a National Weather Service meteorologist.

With temperatures in the 20s early Tuesday morning, it will likely be cold enough for the snow to stick to roadways. And this could make untreated roads slippery, Barnes said.

"There could be an impact on anyone who's commuting into one of the metro areas in the morning," he said.

The Maryland State Highway Administration will be mobilizing crews at its Westminster shop around 10 p.m. Monday to prep for the overnight snowfall, SHA spokesman Charlie Gischlar said at about 5:30 p.m. Monday. SHA has plenty of salt to deal with the snow, he said.

SHA asks that motorists be aware of plows as crews treat the roadways and, for those who must travel, to exercise caution, Gischlar said.

County public works crews were keeping an eye on the forecast Monday afternoon and evening to mobilize their workers to salt and plow the roads, according to Jeff Topper, Carroll County Department of Public Works deputy director.

The county crews that salt and plow the roads are composed of 96 people, 79 of which are county workers. The rest are contracted, according to Topper.

"I know that the roads crews and all of us - just like everyone else - we're waiting for spring now," Topper said.

The brutally cold temperatures are expected to be gone for a few days, as Tuesday afternoon highs should hover in the lower 40s, Barnes said.

This means the warmer weather many residents have been yearning for is on its way, and the snow that has blanketed the county will likely melt - as will those those piles of plowed snow several feet tall.

Wednesday's high temperatures are expected to be in the upper 40s with Thursday's predicted to be the same - maybe reaching the lower 50s - and a possible climb into the upper 50s Friday, according to Barnes.

This poses a new concern for public works crews that follows the past two weeks of winter storms. And that's the possibility of flooding as stormwater drains could be clogged, possibly prohibiting water from coming in as the snow begins to melt, Topper said.

So, after the county public works crews salt and plow the roads today, their focus will turn to clearing out the storm drains to prevent flooding.

They'll use plows, shovels and possibly backhoes to help clear drains, Topper said.

Snow oftentimes blocks the inlets, and the freeze, thaw, refreeze cycle is especially challenging. Public works crews will try to clear out the storm drains to prevent flooding, Topper said.

Residents can help out, too, Topper said. They can use a shovel to to clear out the snow near their drains or they can call the county roads or public works office to come help out if the inlets are closed up.

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