All is not lost after rain fell on Harford for five days

After more than four inches of rain fell, Harford County area farmers said last week's heavy rainfall may have done more harm than good for their crops following a recent dry spell at the beginning of the month.

Paula Harman, co-owner of Harman's Farm, said the heavy rainfall kept more than 200 students from Baltimore International Academy from visiting her family farm to pick pumpkins for the upcoming Halloween holiday.

"We had to postpone two school tours on Thursday and Friday because of the rain," Harman said. "Because of all of the mud we could not run our wagon for wagon rides to the pumpkin patch."

Harman said while she was able to reschedule the school tours for later in the month, her farm missed out on families and other visitors who would have normally visited her farm last Saturday as well. She said her patch is open to the public for pumpkin picking only on weekends during October.

"We see hundreds of people during the weekend," Harman said. "We hope they will show up next weekend. Usually, if people want a pumpkin they are determined to get one."

Harman said the heavy rain also split a few of her tomatoes, but she was able to save most of them.

'We were pleased that we didn't suffer as much damage as we anticipated," Harman said.

Meteorologist Dan Hofmann, of the National Weather Service, said Maryland experienced on and off rain for close to five straight days because of a low pressure system off the east coast.

Hofmann said as of Monday, the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan area had experienced 7.43 inches of rain, which is 5.98 inches more than the average for this time of year. At this time last year, the area had received only .79 inches of precipitation, according to the National Weather Service.

Bob Thomas, spokesperson for the county's Department of Emergency Services, said between last Thursday, Friday and Saturday the Harford area saw more than four inches of rainfall. He said the days of rain did not cause any significant flooding in the area.

"We were well prepared," Thomas said. "We did not have to close any roads because of flooding. We did not have any serious threats of public safety because of water issues."

He said the county fared pretty well, overall, during the days of rainfall.

Mike Doran, vice president of the Harford County Farm Bureau, said harvesting came to a halt for most farmers across the county because of the heavy rainfall.

"We're pretty sensitive to the weather," Doran said. "At first it slowed us down, but eventually it stopped harvest across the county."

Doran said farmers were impacted the most on Thursday and Friday, which were the days of some of the heaviest rainfall. He said most farmers probably will not start harvesting again until Wednesday because the fields need time to dry.

"It's really muddy, if we get no rain between now and Wednesday it would be better," Doran said. "We went from one extreme to the next."

Harford area farmers may be sad to note that dry conditions are not in the forecast for the area. Hofmann said radar at the National Weather Service show a cold front moving into the area.

"Wednesday night to Thursday there is another chance of showers, but it doesn't look like anything as heavy as what we just saw," Hofmann said Monday.

But all is not lost when it comes to rain. Harman said at least one of her crops was happy to see the rainfall.

"Our newly planted strawberries needed the rain," Harman said. "Even though we have an irrigation system, there is nothing like rain to help them grow."

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