There is heavy to stalled traffic heading west on Highway 40 from Hagerstown. Through traffic is advised to find an alternate route.
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) – The popular convoy that traveled across the country from California arrived in Hagerstown Friday evening. The convoy will stay at Hagerstown Speedway for the night.
People started to gather thursday night in anticipation. Starting at 4 p.m., fans lined the streets with American flags, Canadian flags and other memorabilia. Drivers were greeted with horns upon arrival.
The first trucks started trickling in around 5 p.m. and the bulk of the convoy arrived by 6 p.m. Trucks pulling trailers, taxis, motorcycles and passenger cars made up this group.
A person traveling with the convoy told WDVM that there could be around 300 trucks or more, not including any additional passenger cars that joined.
In preparation for the convoy’s arrival, which was scheduled to begin at 3 p.m., Washington County Public Schools sent all schools back two and a half hours early after being warned by local law enforcement of heavy traffic near the district’s regular dismissal time.
A spokesperson for WCPS told WDVM that many school buses in the county serve multiple schools, which is why dismissal times are staggered for different schools. WCPS also said it wanted to give parents or caregivers an estimate of when they could expect their student to return home or designated location after school.
Angel Boyce usually babysits his sister’s children after their school day is over, but had to cancel all of his plans due to the early layoff schedule.
“It’s kind of a weird thing to figure out because, you know, I’m not supposed to be here right now,” Boyce said. But like most of them [parents], they have to work like my sister had to go to work. She couldn’t miss work for this and she was upset about it.
As WCPS students were sent home early, Melanie, a mother from Mercersburg, Pennsylvania, took the opportunity to educate her two children she was homeschooling and brought them to Hagerstown Speedway for a civic journey.
“I just wanted them to see this little pocket of freedom fighters who are fighting for freedom, just to keep in touch with what’s going on and the country and the world and what their position is, what they stand up for, what they fight for, affects everyone, all over the world,” she said.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department estimates that traffic leading to Hagerstown Speedway is blocked for at least a mile in either direction. Officers are at major intersections directing traffic into and out of the fast lane.