Howard County still recovering from Superstorm Sandy

Almost three days after Superstorm Sandy made landfall off the southern coast of New Jersey, Howard County cleanup and rescue crews are still working to return the county to normalcy.

According to Howard County spokesman Kevin Enright, about 100 county government employees were still cleaning up after Sandy on Thursday.

"The county has a significant number of DPW (Department of Public Works) crews dispatched," Enright said in an email. "While they are doing a number of cleanup tasks, mostly they are clearing rights of way throughout the county."

Enright added that work is expected to continue into next weekend.

Columbia Association reopened all facilities and most of its 93-mile pathway system on Wednesday morning, according to CA spokesman David Greisman.

Greisman added that most of the remainder of the pathway system will be cleared by the end of the day on Friday.

"We were very fortunate. We had much less damage sustained then during the derecho," Greisman said.

The county's Department of Fire and Rescue Services, meanwhile, is patroling the county to make sure residents still without power are properly using generators.

According to HCDFRS, in the aftermath of storms like Sandy, carbon monoxide poisoning, which can results from the use of generators, is a heightened concern.

Three residents of North Laurel were rushed to the hospital early Tuesday morning as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Two have since been released, while the third, a male, was in serious condition as of Wednesday.

"We are out in the community educating people about the use of generators," Batallion Chief Eric Proctor said.

Proctor said generators should not be used inside of homes, and must be at least 15 away from residences.

Symptoms of mild CO poisoning often mimic the flu, and include dizziness, confusion, headaches, and vertigo. More sever exposures can be significant and can lead to death.

According to Baltimore Gas & Electric's website, 777 customers in Howard County were still without power at about 3 p.m. Thursday.

At the storm's peak on Monday evening, BGE reported 20,000 customers in the county lost power.

Also on Thursday, the fire department announced that crews from its special operations task force team were being deployed to Garrett County to help in storm recovery efforts there.

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