MARYLAND

Traffic problems slow drivers in Silver Spring

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Getting around Silver Spring Monday brought one frustration after another.

"Horrendous," Patrick Montague said of his commute.

Friday night's powerful thunderstorm left many intersections in the area -- some of them major -- with non-working traffic lights.

Police were out directing traffic at many of the intersections. At the area known as Four Corners, where Route 29 meets University Boulevard, all the traffic lights were out for both the morning and evening rush hour.

"I'll be really be glad when this is all over," said driver Shira Medoff of Silver Spring.

Bicyclist Alex Cathcart tries to avoid the main roads on a regular basis. On Monday, he noticed a lot of people in cars joining him.

"There are a lot more cars out in the back roads," he said. "People are avoiding the highways."

Back in the neighborhoods, though, the story was often just as bad, if not worse.

In Silver Spring's Woodside Park neighborhood, trees were still all over the roads.

In some cases, cars could still get by. But in other cases, like on Grace Church Road, that was impossible.

Trees blocked the road in two places Monday night. One of the trees smashed two trucks owned by the Moreno family on its way down.

The family has been without power since the storm hit and Monday night decided to move to the home of a neighbor on vacation who had power.

"It's going to be a while before they clean this mess," Carlos Moreno said of the trees on the road near his home.

But at least on the major roads, the situation improved as Monday night wore on. Shortly after rush hour, the lights finally came back on at Four Corners.

Other major intersections that had been dark -- such as Connecticut Avenue and Randolph Road and Connecticut and Veirs Mill Road -- also came back on.

But there were still lights out at some intersections, and in the neighborhoods there is still weeks of work ahead before life can return to normal.

Meanwhile, crews in the District and Northern Virginia were also trying to repair the hundreds of lights that had gone out in those places.

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