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More snow arrives Tuesday; Harford schools closed

Laws and LegislationCommutingLibrariesLocal GovernmentNational Weather ServiceDoug Miller

With forecasters predicting several more inches of snow will hit Central Maryland early Tuesday morning Harford County Public Schools are closed.

Harford County government offices are also closed Tuesday, and the Harford County Council meeting scheduled for Tuesday evening is canceled.

Shortly after 8 a.m., the county government announced that Harford Transit Link bus services had ceased operations effective immediately because of the weather and the rapidly deteriorating road conditions.

Harford public schools are closed and employees will be on "Code Green," meaning that "essential personnel should await further directions before reporting for duty," according to an advisory the school system released shortly after 5:30 a.m.

Cecil County Public Schools and Baltimore County Public Schools also are closed Tuesday.

Shortly before 6 a.m. Tuesday, the county Department of Emergency Services announced that highway and other personnel are mobilized in anticipation of the additional snowfall and other hazardous weather conditions.

The Emergency Operations Center will activate to Level at approximately 7 a.m., the department said in a news advisory.

"Representatives from the Emergency Management staff, law enforcement, fire and EMS and the Department of Public Works, Division of Highways will staff the Center. The Harford County EOC will remain activated throughout the duration of the storm," the advisory states.

The Department of Public Works, Division of Highways personnel have reported for duty and are preparing for the storm, the advisory continued. The Division of Highways is responsible for clearing more than 1,000 road miles of county roads.

Harford County Emergency Manager Rick Ayers urges motorists to slow down and use caution when driving conditions begin to deteriorate due to snow, sleet and freezing weather.

Tuesday forecast

According to http://www.baltimoresun.com National Weather Service forecasters predict that 3 to 5 more inches will fall Tuesday on top of the snow that blanketed the region, including Harford County, on Sunday.

The snow is expected to begin falling around sunrise Tuesday and continue through the morning rush, according to NWS forecast.

State Highway Administration officials advise motorists to stay off the road Tuesday morning as crews clear the highways.

"If the storm arrives during the morning rush hour on Tuesday, we ask people to delay travel – stay OFF the roads and allow professional drivers the ability to plow the roads," SHA Administrator Melinda Peters said in a news release. "Crews need space to operate and if they are stuck in the same traffic as everyone else, they cannot do their job."

First snow arrived Sunday

Sunday's first snowstorm of the season, which dumped 7 to 8 inches of snow on Harford, led to many activities being canceled around the county on Monday.

Public schools, libraries and county government closed for the day, although circuit and district courts were open.

The Board of Education meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Monday was canceled.

A Community Input meeting scheduled for Monday night on a proposal to build a continuing care retirement community and about 120 single-family homes on land off North Fountain Green Road in the Bel Air area was also canceled. It had been scheduled to take place at 6 p.m. at Southampton Middle School of Bel Air.

Leigh Shotto, a legal assistant with the Bel Air law firm of Snee, Mahoney, Lutche & Helmlinger, which is representing the developers of the project, said the middle school could not be used for the meeting since schools were closed.

Shotto said a new date for the Community Input Meeting has not been set yet, but it will be advertised once it is set.

The snow also led to the cancellations of several celebrations in Edgewood, said Harford County Councilman Dion Guthrie, who represents the Edgewood community.

The celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Edgewood Library scheduled from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. has been canceled due to the inclement weather. The ceremony was to include a cake cutting, historical displays and performance by the Edgewood High School Jazz Band.

The annual Edgewood Christmas tree lighting ceremony scheduled for Monday evening has been canceled.

Guthrie said both celebrations may be rescheduled for later in the month.

Harford recovers, prepares

Harford County emergency officials said Monday afternoon the county "slowly returning to a state of normalcy" after Sunday's storm, while preparations are under way for what is expected Tuesday.

"The winter mix of snow and ice definitely impacted traffic and holiday shoppers this weekend," Ayers, the county emergency manager, stated in a news release late Monday afternoon. "Our concern now is for the possibility of more snow and ice which may develop during the next 24 hours, and lead to more accidents, injuries and electrical outages."

Department of Emergency Services officials said the county's 911 center dispatched first responder units to 388 calls for service between 8 a.m. Sunday and 8 a.m. Monday.

A large number of the calls were related to auto accidents, according to the news release.

The Emergency Operations Center was activated at Level 2 status from 11:30 a.m. Sunday until 8 a.m. Monday, and officials expected the EOC could be reactivated if needed depending on weather conditions Tuesday.

Nearly 2,900 BGE and Delmarva Power customers in Harford County did not have power as of Monday morning, primarily because of iced-over and downed wires.

About 400 customers in Harford still did not have power as of 4 p.m. Monday, according to the county news release.

Aberdeen surprised, ready for more

Aberdeen city manager Doug Miller said his city was not quite prepared for the amount of snow.

"We did not live up to our own expectations of providing service to our citizens during this snowstorm," Miller told the mayor and city council members during their meeting Monday meeting.

He said the city had geared up for "what we thought was going to be an ice storm," but "7 1/2 inches later," realized it was actually a snowstorm.

Road crews got "a little bit of a late start and didn't do as good a job as we hoped," Miller said.

Nevertheless, Miller assured the city would be prepared for the next round of snow if the forecast for Tuesday morning holds

"I pity the poor snowflake that tries to lay on one of our streets," Miller joked.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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Laws and LegislationCommutingLibrariesLocal GovernmentNational Weather ServiceDoug Miller
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