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Monday, October 29, 2012

Md. SHA Moves into Action as Sandy Prepares for Landfall

ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Hurricane Sandy is affecting much of Maryland and will continue to cause road conditions to deteriorate throughout the day as the eye moves closer to landfall, the State Highway Administration said early Monday.
The SHA said that with the worst of the storm expected to pound Maryland with heavy rain and high winds Monday and Tuesday, widespread power outages and a possible blizzard in far Western Maryland are expected.

Eastbound U.S. Route 50 remains closed entering Ocean City. The SHA noted that heavy rain bands are continuing to move across the region and winds are forecasted to pick up and gusts in excess of 60 mph are likely.

Officials said that more than 640 SHA crews are active across Maryland with an additional 1,500 SHA operations personnel prepared to respond to high water, downed trees and traffic signal issues.
"Today is one of those days to follow the advice - don't travel unless you absolutely have to, " said SHA Melinda B. Peters. "It is worth repeating that a new law enacted Oct. 1 mandates drivers must treat intersections with non-functioning traffic signals as four-way stops. Do not assume you or the other driver has the right-of-way; make eye contact if possible and proceed safely through the intersection."

In response to the storm, the SHA said it is:
  • SHA crews are monitoring and patrolling state roadways. Equipment, including saws and chippers, high-water signs and sandbags are at the ready. Providing real-time traffic information and storm-related road closures through Maryland's 511 phone system and at WWW.MD511.ORG as well as where you can click on CHART to see live traffic cameras.
  • Programming overhead Variable Message Signs along major roadways and Traveler Advisory Radios to inform motorists of crashes, delays and route diversions. However, smaller routes prone to flooding may not be listed since they not be reported. Just because a road isn't listed as problematic on these resources, conditions change quickly, so use caution and allow extra time regardless.

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