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Freezing Rain Creates Dangerous Morning Commute

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Updated: Jan. 10, 2014 9:34 a.m.
Original: Jan. 9, 2014 4:20 p.m.

LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Freezing rain is creating a treacherous commute for motorists Friday morning. WNEW traffic reporter Lisa Baden says the number of accidents on the roadways has been growing steadily since 5 a.m.

“We’ve had so many ice-related accidents. It’s just incredible,” Baden says.

Conditions along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway were among the worst in the area. A multitude of cars were involved in accidents that closed the ramp to eastbound MD-198, authorities say. The exit ramp to MD-197 was also closed in both directions of the Parkway.

The main lanes of the Capital Beltway have been well-traveled and well-treated, but drivers faced slick conditions on exit ramps, according to Baden.

Motorists are being urged to allow for extra time because of multitude of accidents and dangerous conditions.

Current Traffic Conditions

A Freezing Rain Advisory has been extended for much of the area until noon. It was originally set to expire at 9 a.m.

The slick conditions are not limited to roadways as pedestrians are having a difficult time staying upright on untreated sidewalks.

“Be careful coming out of the neighborhoods,” Baden warns.

A number of area school systems will open late as a result of the inclement conditions.

In Maryland, schools in Montgomery, Carroll, Howard, and Frederick counties are operating on a two-hour delay. Public schools in Charles County will be closed.

Parents and teachers are criticizing a decision by Anne Arundel County school officials to not cancel or delay class.

School officials say the timing of the weather put them in a “difficult predicament.”

As of 4 a.m. officials say they received no reports of issues on the roadways. However, a change in weather pattern after 5 a.m. created complex and sometimes dangerous conditions for motorists.

“We made, as we do every day, the most reasonable and prudent decision we could make based on the information we had at the time,” a statement on the school system’s Facebook page reads.

Anne Arundel County students not in class today will be credited with an excused absence.

In Virginia, schools in Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William counties will open two hours late. Stafford County schools will be closed after originally announcing a two-hour delay.

Full List: Closings and Delays

The silver lining: we will see warmer temps this weekend, with highs in the 50s.

Current Weather Conditions

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(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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