Harford Sandy Wednesday

Mark Stewart of Bel Air empties his truck in one go at the Tollgate yard waste facility in Bel Air Wednesday, which will be open the rest of the week through Sunday so residents can drop off tree limbs and other vegetative debris from Storm Sandy. (Nicole Munchel | Aegis Staff, Patuxent Homestead / October 31, 2012)

Nearly 15 percent of homes and businesses in central and southern Harford County still did not have power early Wednesday morning, as residents dealt with the after-effects of Superstorm Sandy.

Serious traffic problems at the intersection of Fulford and South Main streets in Bel Air were still an issue as of late Wednesday afternoon, said Bel Air Town Administrator Chris Schlehr.

A telephone pole was also leaning over Hickory Avenue near the parking garage, causing the street to be blocked between Courtland Street and Pennsylvania Avenue since early Tuesday.

The leaning pole, which seemed to become a conversation piece around town Tuesday and Wednesday, was in the process of being removed early Wednesday evening by crews from BGE and Oklahoma Gas and Electric.

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"There's still 15 percent [of residents] without power," Schlehr said. "Generally in the southern part of town."

While there was no "catastrophic damage" as a result of Sandy, Schlehr reported half a dozen major trees came down.

The town's public works crews will continue to work through the end of the week clearing debris, he said.

North of town, in the Marywood community off Rock Spring Road, homes were damaged by falling trees and limbs. Marywood has a number of mature trees along its streets and in many yards.

Building inspectors went around the county Tuesday to photograph and assess damage to homes and other buildings from downed trees and wind.

River flooding danger subsides

Any lingering flooding danger from the storm appeared to have passed, including along the lower Susquehanna River.

"Just notified by conference call that [Havre de Grace] will not have any flooding from the [Conowingo] dam," Susquehanna Hose Company Chief Scott Hurst said via text message shortly after 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Just one floodgate was open at Conowingo Dam at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, according to the Conowingo Spill Condition Hotline. Although the hotline said the dam is operating under "storm conditions," river flow through the dam was being measured at 125,000 cubic feet per second, a strong flow, but typically not enough to cause serious downstream flooding.

The hotline also said one to six gates would be open over the next eight hours, well below the 13 or 14 that would have to be open to flood Route 222 along the Cecil County shore of the river.

Port Deposit Mayor Wayne Tome Sr. said again Wednesday that the town on the Cecil Shore was not threatened. "Everything's fine," he said.

Schools, Harford government closed

Meanwhile, the remaining power outages around Harford County forced public schools and some local government-related activities in the county to remain closed for a third straight day Wednesday.

Many county roads also remained closed because of downed trees and power lines.

The county announced it would re-open Thursday, with liberal leave for employees. The state of emergency was also set to be lifted Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Harford County Public Schools, which was closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, planned make an announcement about Thursday classes sometime Wednesday evening, a spokesperson said.