By Jon Meoli, email@example.com
3:25 PM EDT, October 30, 2012
As Stoneleigh residents emerged from their homes Tuesday morning to assess the overnight damage wrought by Hurricane Sandy, many were relieved to see that unlike previous storms, the cleanup would be of the rake and shovel variety more than anything else.
"I'm just starting to walk around now, but it seems like it could have been worse," said Billy Siciliano, 36 of Stoneleigh.
That's not to say Siciliano didn't take precautions last night. After a recent storm brought one of the namesakes on Old Oak Road onto a neighbor's roof, Siciliano had his family sleep in the basement.
But like many families, the Sicilianos woke to find that the worst had passed and the damage was minimal.
In Knollwood, Wes Glanz said he called many of his friends to offer up his family's generator, but no one needed it.
During the storm, he said he kept an eye on some areas where he knew drainage was an issue, but was more concerned with when his two boys would be back in school than any damage the storm may have brought.
Councilman David Marks, who represents the 5th District including Towson, said that according to information he's gathered, "Towson fared much better" than it did during the violent derecho storm in late June.
After that storm, entire Towson neighborhoods were without power for as long as eight days. Tuesday morning, Marks said that power was out in isolated pockets of Campus Hills, Anneslie, Armagh Village and Riderwood Hills.
In past storms, BGE's outage maps showed almost total power losses in Towson. As of 12:41 p.m. Tuesday, the Towson area appeared to have thousands without power, though the exact number is unclear. Across Baltimore County, nearly 50,000 customers are still without power, while 22,888 have been restored.
Additionally, much of Southland Hills was without power Tuesday. In that small pocket of West Towson, an entire tree crashed down onto the neighborhood's power supply early Monday evening.
As a result, extension cords stretched across the street just as they did after the June derecho. Resident Bob Baummer, 59, said he believed that with one line responsible for the outage, it wouldn't take BGE as long to turn his lights back on as the seven days it took last summer.
"I say we'd have it back within 24 hours," he said.
In Armagh Village, a small hamlet near Rodgers Forge, resident Andrew Holt said he and his family were bailing out his basement every hour or so after the power went off and with it, his sump pump.
Holt, 43, seemed in good spirits despite the continuing rain. His main concern, he said, was that his children be able to return to school for Halloween tomorrow.
In other, more heavily forested parts of the Towson area, traffic was altered by fallen trees. On Falls Road at the entrance of St. Paul's School in Brooklandville, a tree rested on power lines and damaged a traffic light, causing the road to be closed at West Seminary Avenue.
At the corner of Ruxton Green and Old Court Road, a fallen tree over wires and across the road has left a dangerous but navigable situation for drivers.
By comparison, some of the areas typically hardest hit by severe storms got off easy. Both Marks and Siciliano suggested that residents prepared better and that the earlier storms cleared out much of the weaker limbs on Towson's old trees.
But that didn't stop residents from preparing for the worst.
"We waited all night fo the power to go off and it never did," said Sarah McCafferty, 58 of Stoneleigh.
County Police spokesman Cpl. John Wachter said the night passed largely without incident, with the only major incident being an early-morning barricade situation in Essex that was mitigated before anyone was injured.
Late Tuesday morning, Wachter said swiftwater rescue crews were also responding to a car stuck in standing water in Sparks.
Though the storm has passed, the damage largely will remain, and Wachter urged residents to avoid standing water on the roadway.
"If someone comes across standing water on the roadway, they should not drive through it," he said. "Don't think that your car's going to make it OK if you go a little faster or your car's a little bigger. You just should not drive through it."
County residents are also reminded that all intersections without working traffic signals should be treated as four-way stops.