by Geoff Fox
Anticipation of a miles-long convoy of tractor-trailers and those supporting the “Freedom Convoy” heading toward Washington D.C. has led Washington County, Md. officials to modify schedules today, Friday, March 4. Washington County Public Schools announced Wednesday it would dismiss students in county schools early on Friday. More police are expected to patrol the Hancock area to help with any traffic control. Truckers on a nationwide convoy are heading to D.C. and were expected to meet up at Hagerstown as one of their designated stops.
Students in Washington County will be dismissed two and a half hours early on Friday after WCPS officials coordinated with local law enforcement and emergency services in anticipation of the convoy that is expected to arrive in the area Friday afternoon.
With the number of vehicles involved in the convoy, there is likely to be traffic congestion and delays on major transportation routes and secondary roads, WCPS officials said in a release.
Originally, the school system had marked Friday, March 11, as an early dismissal. That will no longer be the case.
WCPS officials announced March 11 would be a normal school day instead to offset today’s loss of class time.
Sgt. Rich Miller of the Hancock Police Department said more officers would be in Hancock to help with any possible traffic coming through town, as they might be trying to skirt the convoy. Truckers are expected to come into the area on I-70 from Breezewood.
While Sgt. Miller said he didn’t know the exact route the convoy would come through the Hancock area, he anticipates it being around 3 p.m. Friday afternoon.
Based on information gathered by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and Maryland State Police, traffic congestion is expected in the area, Miller said.
He hopes people in the area plan ahead to get to their destinations Friday afternoon.
In a post on the town’s social media page, Miller said Hancock Fire and Rescue are aware and taking preventative measures to ensure the community safety.
Maryland State Police said
in addition to road patrol troopers, troopers from their Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division and Automotive Safety Enforcement Division are prepared to assist public safety partners in Maryland and neighboring states to address any violations of law and to maintain the free flow of traffic.
“Agencies will allocate personnel and additional resources based upon analysis of the situation to ensure safety on or roadways and minimize potential traffic disruptions throughout the region,” Maryland State Police said in a release.