Citing wind and safety concerns, Maryland state highway officials announced that speed limits on interstates and US routes will be cut to 45 mph as Hurricane Sandy passes through the region.
According to a release from the State Highway Administration, Maryland State Police and Maryland Transportation Authority, the reduction—which is indefinite and effective immediately—also applies to police, fire crews, ambulances and utility crews.
“Lowering the speed limit is necessary since speed and high wind is a dangerous combination. By reducing speed limit, our goal is to keep our emergency responders safe. For all members of the general public, we can’t stress enough the importance of staying off the roads as this unprecedented storm strikes Maryland,” Maryland State Highway Administrator Melinda B. Peters said in the release. “Stay home. There are more than 12,000 people responding along state and toll roadways. By staying home you allow them, utility crews and police to do their jobs.”
Earlier in the day, state officials announced closures of the Bay Bridge, Hatem bridge and Tydings bridge due to high winds.
The eye of Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall in southern New Jersey later tonight.