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Overnight Freeze Could Bring Icy Driving Conditions Wednesday

MARYLAND (WJZ) — As many parts of the country are experiencing negative-degree temperatures, Maryland is gearing up for icy driving conditions into Wednesday.

In Carroll County, it's a little more soggy than snowy on the roads. This may be a problem, state highway administrators said Tuesday, when the sun and temperatures drop Tuesday night.

"Anything that's wet outside has the potential and probably will freeze. So, we're probably going to have patrol all evening, into the overnight hours, to try and prepare for the Wednesday morning rush hour," said Charlie Gischlar, State Highway Administration.

The slow-motion storm, drizzling a mix of snow and rain on the state, is set to coincide with the evening rush hour.

This means potential gridlocks for drivers and road crews alike.

"That always makes it challenging for us to treat the roadways because we're stuck with everyone else," Gischlar said.

So, as the winter weather trickles down over the state, the State Highway Administration is urging would-be drivers, to instead keep their cars in park if possible.

Not an option for those who didn't get quite through snow for a snow day.

"You know, you do what you gotta do. That's all," said Margaret Stone, driver.

But drivers say the salt and brine sprayed on streets ahead of the storm seems to be working.

Or, as Tim Yeagle describes road conditions: "No problem,"

At least, for now.

Back in the Baltimore-area, the City's transportation snow team is in full deployment- more than 500 pieces of equipment ready to move wherever they are needed.

Whether it's rain, snow flurries, the uncertainty of it all is driving higher than normal foot traffic at the Giant grocery store in Hampden on Tuesday.

"It has been crazy all day, everybody is buying everything. We're staying in stock," Heather Funk meat manager.

Funk is also picking up those last-minute essentials. Her real concern is the commute to and from work.

"Hopefully no ice, that's the scary thing. You just don't know driving in that," Funk said.

The City's Department of Transportation is trying to provide peace of mind for drivers.

"Our snow team is prepared for anything. We want to make sure that you know we make the streets passable," said German Vigil.

Since noon, it's been an all hands on deck operation, with plows and salt piles both on the move.

Crews are ready to treat ice and snow as it forms and falls.

"Our teams are ready and set through the evening all the way into the morning if need to all the way into tomorrow," Vigil said.

With roads expected to downhill as the temperatures drop with the sun, there has been a steady stream of traffic as more people make their way home.

Seasoned drivers are urging caution and patience.

"I think you really have to be careful. I actually drive a big SUV and I know that does nothing for me in the ice, so you just really have to slow down," said Michelle Peters, Baltimore resident.

In Baltimore County, homeowners including Bruce Alderman not as concerned with the snow as he is with what's ahead.

"I'm really worried about tomorrow, it's going to be pretty cold," Alderman said.

Once the snow moved out early evening, the focus now shifts to what's what- specifically roads around the state as arctic air moves in.

"Anything that's wet outside has the potential and probably will freeze so we're going to have to patrol all evening long, into the overnight hours to try and prepare for the Wednesday morning rush hour," Gischlar said.

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