One snowstorm down, another in the forecast for Harford

A mesmerizing snowman with a winning smile keeps watch of the yard of his home along East Broadway in Bel Air Monday afternoon.
A mesmerizing snowman with a winning smile keeps watch of the yard of his home along East Broadway in Bel Air Monday afternoon. (Matt Button / The Aegis)

The snow from the weekend still covers the ground but already county officials are looking ahead to the next round of winter weather.

“We’re gearing up because we understand there’s more on the way this week, so we’re already planning for that,” said Cindy Mumby, a spokesperson for Harford County government. “We haven’t taken any action yet, but we may be doing pre-treatment, if the weather is feasible, on Thursday, but we won’t make decision until it gets closer.”


That’s similar to what the county did last week as the weekend weather neared. The county treated emergency routes Thursday with a salt/brine combination then went back Friday and treated the other roads.

“The brine is a cost-effective measure because we use less salt and it allows you to pretreat several days in advance, as long as it doesn’t rain,” Mumby said.

Maryland State Highway has been using the brine pre-treatment for some time, she said.

On Friday, meteorologists were calling for a light snow and a few inches of accumulation Saturday night and Sunday morning. But by Saturday morning, it became clear a storm capable of dropping significantly more snow was materializing.

Harford maintains 1,200 miles of roads.

During the snow, plow crews began working at 4 p.m. Saturday. After they stopped briefly to rest overnight, they were out clearing roads until 7 p.m. Sunday. They were back at it again at 5 a.m. Monday plowing and salting before rush hour.

Schools in Harford County opened two hours late Monday, but a lot of districts in the region declared snow days.

Few weather-related emergencies were reported over the weekend, she said.

“I think we’re fortunate we didn’t receive reports of any serious accidents or injuries or serious risk to safety,” Mumby said. “Fortunately it happened over the weekend when most of our citizens did not have had to go to work. And with the pre-treatment, we were able to lay down one layer of defense against the snow and able to go back through with our plows and clear the roads.”

The county provided updates on road and weather conditions throughout the weekend on Facebook, where one follower thanked the county for its efforts: “Thank you for already coming thru Jtowne! Hope your drivers stay safe!”

“Just taking the time to say thank you goes a long way for these folks who are out in difficult conditions,” Mumby said. “It is their job, they do a good job and they take pride in it. And we appreciate when citizens express thanks.”

They also appreciate when residents slow down when they are driving in bad weather.

“For your own sake, and the sake of everyone else on the road, please slow down when we have these winter conditions,” she said.