Cumberland Times-News

Local News

October 30, 2012

Superstorm keeps road crews busy

Allegany, Frostburg in good shape, officials say

CUMBERLAND — Roads crews in Allegany County were busy, but roads in the county were in pretty good shape, said County Commission President Michael McKay.

“We did a whole lot better than we expected,” McKay said Tuesday.

There was some snow to be cleared, especially in the western part of the county, and isolated incidents of flooded roads overnight, McKay said. There was a rock slide on state Route 135 near Luke.

Flooding issues were resolved by late Tuesday, said Dick DeVore, county emergency services chief. But overall, things were in very good shape.

Power was out to about 30 percent to 40 percent of Frostburg residents Tuesday afternoon, but things were generally in good shape, said John Kirby, city administrator. Officials hadn’t received an estimate on a time frame for power restoration. Frostburg State University and Main Street has power, Kirby said.

“Our streets are passable,” Kirby said. Road crews in Frostburg started work Monday night and “worked most of the night.”

Snow removal wasn’t easy, even with only a few inches on the ground in town.

“It’s like trying to push around wet concrete,” Kirby said, describing the wet snow.

He did not think any city property suffered major damage.

Some of the worst problems occurred on the county-owned Great Allegheny Passage Trail.

“The portion of the Great Allegheny Passage through Allegany County, Maryland, has suffered significant damage from Hurricane Sandy,” said Bretta Reinhard, the county’s public information officer, in a press release. Allegany County officials don’t want people on the trail.

“Trail users are advised to proceed at your own risk. Allegany County is not responsible for any personal injury or property damage suffered by any user of the trail,” Reinhard said. Cleaning up the trail will begin as soon as possible, she said.

Most of the damage is from the Brush Tunnel west to the Mason-Dixon line, including limbs and trees down. Washouts have occurred in the Woodcock Hollow area and in other areas.

Another area of concern was the Bishop Walsh water tower area, DeVore said. The county has communications equipment and a generator there. The area was a mass of “downed electrical wires and cables,” DeVore said. Personnel had to walk back to the tower since it was impassable by vehicle.

McKay credited county employees and cooperation with the city of Cumberland  for helping with storm cleanup and keeping county offices open Tuesday. Few, if any other county offices in the state were open for business, McKay said.

“We were working as a team,” with the city of Cumberland, McKay said.

McKay was in on a conference call with Gov. Martin O’Malley at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday. He gave O’Malley details on the storm here and cleanup efforts.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

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