Harford County executive to give briefing Monday on damage from Irene

Harford County Executive David Craig will hold a media briefing Monday to discuss the county's clean up efforts from Hurricane Irene, which hit the county over the weekend.

The briefing, announced Sunday evening, will be held at the Harford County Emergency Operations Center in Hickory beginning at 11 a.m. Monday.

"Harford County Executive David R. Craig will give an update on the county's recovery from Hurricane Irene, to include the debris management plan for the citizens of Harford County," a media advisory states. "The County Executive will also share his views regarding damage caused by the storm and the impact to both the public and private sector."

Craig had announced earlier in the day that all county government offices would be closed Monday, while the county continues to assess damage and because of ongoing power outages and road closures.

Critical county employees must report for work as scheduled. Employees of the Office of Information and Communication Technology should report for work unless informed otherwise.

The county also announced its Harford Transit Link bus services will operate as normal on Monday.

The county's public school system will also be closed Monday. Classes on what would have been the first day of the new school year for students are canceled.

School officials cited power outages and road closures as the reason for the decision not to hold classes Monday.

One serious fire reported

About 20 Harford County homes sustained significant damage during Hurricane Irene, according to a county press release, and a mobile home in Darlington burned down Sunday morning.

County spokesman Ben Lloyd said the home, in the 2200 block of Castleton Road, caught fire after a tree fell on it.

No residents were injured. Two firefighters and one emergency medical technician sustained minor injuries but were treated at the scene, Lloyd said.

The other damaged homes were not limited to any specific neighborhoods, he said.

"They were really all over," he said.

As of about 7 p.m. Sunday night, about 80 sections of county roads were closed, while 43 had been re-opened, Lloyd said.

Bel Air power problems

Town of Bel Air Mayor Dave Carey said he had not heard of any serious damage in the town.

The major problem was continued power outages along Main Street, as well as other neighborhoods, he said.

The town later Sunday evening issued an advisory through the county government warning motorists to use extra caution when driving in and around town Monday morning.

"The Bel Air Police Department is urging motorists to use caution when driving through downtown Bel Air," the advisory states. "As a result of Hurricane Irene, much of the downtown area has been without electricity for much of Sunday, including several intersections on both Main Street and Bond Street where traffic lights are not working."

"Bel Air Police recommend motorists use caution when driving through the town until electric service has been restored and traffic lights are once again operational," the advisory continued. "Additionally, Bel Air Police request that motorists treat all intersections normally controlled by a traffic light as a "four way stop" to help ensure safe passage through the town.

For additional information regarding traffic safety in the town of Bel Air, contact the Bel Air Police Department at 410-638-4500.

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