In aftermath of big storm, Harford gets brief respite Friday

Mother Nature threw another punch at Harford County late Thursday evening, when more snow started to fall and the winds picked up, following closely behind the storm that dumped 12 to 18 inches of snow across the county between Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon.

Another 2 to 3 inches fell by the time the snow was done Friday morning, but then Harford caught a brief break from the winter, as temperatures warmed and the sun shone much of the afternoon.

It was a nice change, but one not expected to last, because the latest forecast from the National Weather Service calls for snow to start falling overnight Friday and Saturday morning, with a potential for another inch or two of the white stuff before sundown Saturday.

Friday did afford road crews to get caught up on their plowing and clearing, aided by the moderating temperatures and sunshine.

Harford County Public Schools were closed Friday. County government and Town of Bel Air offices opened at 10 a.m. While most main roads were clear but wet, many side streets and a few main thoroughfares, like Bel Air's Main Street, were still snow and ice covered around 9 a.m.

The Harford Emergency Operations Center deactivated at 7 p.m. Thursday, but emergency management staff continued to monitor recovery efforts during the night and into Friday morning.

Harford Transit Link bus service was delayed Friday, starting at 11 a.m.

The Harford County District and Circuit courthouses were also closed on Friday, keeping couples from celebrating their love and tying the knot on Valentine's Day, as some planned at the Circuit Court marriage room.

Around 1:30 p.m. Friday, Bob Thomas, spokesman for the Department of Emergency Services, said there were no significant snow-related injuries from the overnight snow shower..

He said the department's remaining priority was to work with the Department of Public Works to clear roads around the county.

Thomas said about 80 percent of the roads in the county had been cleared of snow by Friday afternoon and crews were working to get roads open and clear the other 20 percent.

Temperatures climbed into the mid-40s in Bel Air Friday afternoon, and the sun ended up shining much of the day, helping to melt all the snow from roadways and parking lots.

Miraculously, power outages around the county were negligible. Baltimore Gas & Electric's online outage map showed fewer than 35 customers without power at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Delmarva Power reported no outages among its customers.

Rick Ayers, emergency manager for Harford County Emergency Services, said the Feb. 12-13 weather event produced the largest snowfall the county has experienced since the winter of 2009-10.

"This is wet heavy snow, and one small streets there is limited space to push it," Ayers said in a news release. "Progress will be slow, however we are making every effort to clear streets curb to curb."

Ayers said snow removal would continue through the weekend, with more snow is in the forecast.

For Saturday, the National Weather Service forecast as of 7 p.m. Friday says snow could begin falling after 1 a.m. Saturday, with a 90 percent of daytime precipitation, mainly before 4 p.m., with "new snow accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible."

High temperatures Saturday will be near 34, according to the NWS, with variable winds becoming northwest 16-21 mph in the afternoon, with gusts of up to 33 mph.

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