Superstorm Sandy

The projected path of Hurricane Sandy's eye through the week as of Monday. (Courtesy of the National Hurricane Center / October 29, 2012)

Howard County Executive Ken Ulman declared a state of emergency Monday as Hurricane Sandy unleashed heavy rain and high winds on Howard County.

"I cannot emphasize enough the serious nature of what looks to be a once-in-a-lifetime weather event," Ulman said in a statement. “Now is the time to stay in place, be safe, and be vigilant.”

As of 9:47 p.m. Monday, Howard County's Department of Fire and Resuce Services has responded to seven incidents of partial roof collapses as a result of downed trees in the county.

A Laurel family of five was displaced after a large tree fell on their residence, located in the 10900 block of Hammond Road, at approximately 8:30 p.m. Monday, a HCDFRS spokesman said.

The spokesman said no one was injured, but the house sustained heavy damage.

The family will be spending the night in a hotel, he said.

Other minor reports include an incident reported at approximately 6:10 p.m. in Fulton and an incident occurring at 6:45 p.m. in Ellicott City.

In the first incident, a large tree came down on a residence located in the 7000 block of Meandering Way in Fulton. The spokesman said part of the roof collapsed, and responders aided the residents in patching up some windows.

The second incident occurred at 6:45 p.m., when officials responded to the 4600 block of Ilchester Road in Ellicott City.

The spokesman said a tree fell on the front porch of the house, partially punching a hole in the roof.

No one was displaced or injured in both minor incidents, he said.

HCDFRS has also reported three incidents of power lines and trees down in the county.

The spokesman said wires and trees are down on near the intersection of Triadelphia Road and Lakeway Drive in West Friendship, wires across the roadway near the 7000 block of Kit Kat Road in Elkridge, and trees and power lines down near the 7100 Sanner Road in Columbia.

The South Entrance Road exit off of a Route 29 in Columbia has been closed due to flooding.

The Mall in Columbia announced it would be closed Monday, joining the county school system and county government offices, which had earlier announced closures. The Mall will remain closed until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, according to a spokesperson.

All Howard County schools and school offices will be closed tomorrow, as well. A work session scheduled for the elementary redistricting proposal has been canceled.

Rebecca Amani-Dove, spokeswoman for the Howard County Public School System, said Monday night the system's maintenance department was out at county schools earlier Monday checking roof drains and HVAC systems.

So far, she said, there have been no problems reported at any county school.

As soon as it's safe to venture out Tuesday, Amani-Dove said, building supervisors would be doing a complete check of each school.

Events and classes have also been canceled at Howard Community College for Tuesday.