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25 years ago: Harford pounded by as much as 6 inches of rain

From The Aegis of Sept. 10, 1987:

"Cows floating downstream, walls collapsing, low-lying roads closed and countless basements flooded"- that was what grabbed the reader's attention on the front page 25 years ago.

A rainstorm hit Harford County, flooding most parts of the county, with as much as 6.5 inches reported in Forest Hill. The rain began in the morning, around the morning rush hour, and didn't stop until the evening after the heaviest rain fell.

There were flooded basements and roads, and many drivers were left stranded in those high waters.

One of the intersections closed was Conowingo Road at Moores Mill, where a car had stalled. No serious injuries were reported, though emergency crews received more than 75 calls for help.

On a day that wasn't raining, "Nitemare II" crashed over cars through the parking lot at Harford Mall as a bonus to the Bel Air New Car Dealers Labor Day Weekend sale.

Steve Hess brought his 13-foot high, 15,000-pound monster truck to the mall, where he flattened parked cars during a demonstration. Hess revved the engine of his truck, backed up then plowed into the first car in the line, climbing up the side with his huge wheels.

"Once you hit the cars, you're totally in the air. You don't know where you're going to land, but you hope it isn't on the side of a car because that could tip you over," Hess said. "It's a real thrill."

At a hearing 25 years ago, the state was still trying to shut down a Bel Air day care center for alleged rule violations following charges of child sex abuse at the facility.

The state said the owners of the day care violated 10 guidelines governing the conduct of group day care centers that indicated a "chronic lack of supervision." Those were in addition to what the state alleged were four confirmed cases and five others suspected of youngsters sexually abused. All but one of the victims was between 3-½ and 4-½ years old.

A decision was expected "as soon as possible," which could be three weeks to a month after the hearing date.

Harford Community College leaders were "a little shocked" at the prospect 25 years ago of being hooked up to public sewage lines, especially since six months before they had been told there was no chance for such service in the foreseeable future.

The county agreed to allow a developer to lay the lines, at his expense, and HCC as well as Harford Tech and John Archer to use them.

"We were going to build a sewage treatment plant on campus," HCC President Dr. Alfred C. O'Connell said. "We hired a local engineer to tell us exactly what we should do."

Any expansion plans for HCC, the president said, hinged on sewer requirements, which appeared would be solved with the new sewer lines.

Worried about increased traffic congestion near the Route 22/543 intersection in Fountain Green, area residents applauded when the Harford County Council, acting as the zoning board of appeals, voted to overturn the zoning hearing examiner's decision to allow the project.

A developer planed to develop a 20,000-square-foot office building as well as a shopping center for six businesses.

As many as 1,000 new homes were planned around the shopping center, including Fountain Glen, Foxborough Farms, Tudor Manor, Southampton and Amyclae Estates. Bel Air town officials and local residents opposed it because it could generate more traffic.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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