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Harford braces for severe weather event Thursday

The Harford County Department of Emergency Services urges Harford County residents to prepare for a squall line of thunderstorms with heavy rain, lightning, hail, high winds and higher tides as a result of a fast moving and severe weather event approaching the region Thursday.

As storm moves across the state, Harford County and other areas of Maryland could feel the effects, the county government warned in a news release issued Wednesday.

The Harford County Department of Emergency Services recommends residents to prepare for the storm by reviewing their storm survival plan and restocking any needed food, water or other supplies to get them through the storm.

Emergency management personnel also recommend that residents test their battery-powered flashlights and radios to ensure they are storm ready.

"Preparation is the key to staying safe during a severe weather event," County Executive David R. Craig said. "We urge citizens to follow the progress of storm on radio, television or the Internet and take all precautions necessary to ensure the safety of family and loved ones," County Executive Craig remarked.

Harford County emergency management personnel caution homeowners to prepare their yards for the potential of strong or gusting winds from the storm. Many items can become flying debris which may result in damage to homes, vehicles and other property.

Homeowners and occupants should make sure outside oil or fuel tanks are properly anchored, so they will not overturn or float away in rising water. Items in the yard that cannot be moved inside should be anchored or secured, so there is less chance of becoming projectiles in high winds.

The pending storm with the likelihood of strong, gusting winds could result in fallen trees and downed power lines, the county news release said. As a result some areas of the county may be without power for several days until electrical service is restored.

Residents and business owners should be prepared for the possibility of widespread power outages and make appropriate plans for living arrangements or business operations, the county said

If, as expected, the storm brings rain, hail and damaging winds, people should stay off the roads during the storm unless absolutely necessary. The Harford County Sheriff's Office urges motorists not to drive through standing water or to turn around in standing water, which may cause vehicles to become disabled and a traffic hazard.

Harford County and a number of other jurisdictions have been placed under a flash flood watch from midnight tonight, Wednesday, June 12 through 8:00 p.m. Thursday evening.

For storm preparedness tips, go to the Harford County Department of Emergency Services website at http://www.harfordpublicsafety.org and click on "Surviving the Storm" icon.

Residents are also encouraged to add their cell phone numbers to the Harford County Emergency Notification System by clicking the "Sign Up Now for Notifications" Icon on the main webpage or by contacting the Department of Emergency Services at 410-638-4900.

The Harford County Department of Emergency Services, the Harford County Sheriff's Office, local and State Police and our fire and emergency medical services personnel are ready to meet the challenges of the pending storm," Emergency Services Director Russell J. Strickland said. "Nonetheless, surviving the storm is everyone's responsibility."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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