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Maryland highway crews prepare for winter storm

Maryland highway crews prepare for winter storm.jpg
Posted at 5:07 PM, Dec 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-15 07:52:12-05

MARYLAND — A lot of snow can mean trouble on the roads, but state highway officials have been preparing for this exact situation all year.

As the temperatures drops, our anxiety of driving on slick surfaces rises.

There are 18,200 miles of roadways to clear in Maryland and highway officials say they are ready. They keep adding new equipment every year and that includes new software for our benefit.

There are nearly 80 sensors around the state that can tell us almost anything we need to know about the road conditions.

"They can detect the thickness of the snow, the water, the ice, whatever it is within one millimeter of accuracy, which is pretty incredible I think. It also measures the surface temperatures, road conditions, freeze point, salt concentration on the road surface."

The vehicles working in the field have sensors on them as well. All that can be accessed on the State Highway Administration's web site.

From the comfort of your home you can access a ton of information to help you plan your trip or if you need to decide if it's prudent to go out at all.

"How many active vehicles are on the roads, you can click on a particular road in your neighborhood, which is what most people would do or where they would be happen to be going to see what there commute is going to look like and how many roads have been treated."

The State Highway Administration is prepared for these storms, but many of us have been working from home and not driving as much, so there may be some preparations for us as well.

"They may not know if the battery is in good operating condition, if there fluids are at the levels they should be in, if the tires are at the level they should have."

The average snow fall for the Baltimore/Washington metropolitan area is 10 and a half inches per year. There are many things we can do to get ready, but the best thing may be to do is nothing.

"Just stay home if you don't have to go out. That's the easiest thing to do."