"As the ground got really saturated and the winds… are still pretty high, we are seeing more trees falling on power lines," he said. "We will probably see that for the rest of the day. There's still going to be an issue with wind. Trees are in a weakened state."

County crews were out in the morning, surveying damage and making repairs, he said.

"They are doing a great job in pretty difficult circumstances," Lloyd said.

Please stay home


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He advised residents to remain indoors for most of the day unless they had to go out.

The county sent out a mass phone call around 10 a.m. Sunday.

"Good morning, this is Harford County Emergency Manager Rick Ayers with an update from Hurricane Irene. The county has over 56,000 customers without power and several trees are down on county roads making driving conditions hazardous. Also, the traffic lights at many major intersections are not functioning. county law enforcement officials are requesting county citizens to remain off the roads today if at all possible. Also, they would like to remind motorists that when traffic signals are out, the intersection becomes a four-way stop and to yield the right away accordingly."

"The county is also requesting that citizens do not call 911 to report flooded basements or report power outages," the message continued. "If you are without power and want to call BG&E that phone number is 1-877-778-2222 or Delmarva Power at 1-800-898-8042. Thanks and have a good day."

"For safety reasons and to allow utility crews to perform their work, Harford County residents are asked to stay off the roads today unless absolutely necessary," a media advisory issued Sunday afternoon by Harford County government stated.

"If travel is necessary, drivers are reminded to treat intersections with malfunctioning traffic signals as four-way stops," the advisory continued. "Also, residents using generators are advised to ensure that there is adequate ventilation so as to negate the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning."

A busy night, nothing serious

No damage to large structures was reported, Dave Williams, a spokesman for Harford County Fie and EMS Association, said, nor could he recall any specific emergency incidents overnight.

"The fire service was very busy throughout the county as expected with everything from wires and utility poles down and/or arcing, trees into structures, carbon monoxide detector calls, automatic fire alarms, dwelling fires, voluntary evacuations. Major challenges in addition to the rain and wind conditions were blocked roadways due to trees, poles and wires being down in the roads which made it difficult for units to access some incidents," Williams wrote in an e-mail.

About 20 buildings were reported as having significant damage from falling debris. The Harford County Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits had four crews of inspectors performing structural assessments to determined whether they are inhabitable, Lloyd wrote in his release.

The EOC remained activated Sunday afternoon to coordinate recovery. Harford County Executive David Craig visited it three times during the storm, and visited the shelter Sunday morning.

"Hurricane Irene has left her mark on Harford County, and it will be days and even weeks until everything is back to normal," Craig said in the release. "I have to commend the ECO and our county crews who have worked around the clock to coordinate recovery efforts."

"I want to assure all Harford County residents that we will be working 24-7 to restore our infrastructure, and I ask for their cooperation and understanding during this process."

Towns, cities fare well

Havre de Grace and Aberdeen likewise did not report any major problems other than power outages.

Mayor Wayne Dougherty, in Havre de Grace, said one tree came down on a home at Stokes and Ontario streets, and a resident was evacuated there.