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Harford gets 2-5 inches of snow; Joppatowne Elementary closed

Harford County dodged the worst of what was forecast to be the biggest snow of the season, getting between 2 and 5 inches overnight Monday into Tuesday morning, closing schools Tuesday. Joppatowne Elementary is one Harford school to be closed Wednesday, too, after school officials announced it would remain closed another day because of mechanical problems.

The snow, or threat of snow, was enough to close local schools for another day, although most major state and county roads were clear by 9 a.m. Tuesday, as were streets in downtown Bel Air, where county government offices opened on time with liberal leave.

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Harford County Public Schools also canceled after school and evening activities. Classes and all events at Harford Community College and Towson University in Northeastern Maryland were also canceled, according to the HCC website.

The John Carroll School in Bel Air also did not have classes, but officials announced Tuesday afternoon and evening activities would go on and staff was encouraged to come in at noon "if possible."

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"Use best judgment – no consequences if unable to attend," the school posted on Twitter at about 11 a.m.

State offices were closed, including Bel Air's Mary E. W. Risteau Multi-Service Center, home of the Harford County District Court and regional offices of other state agencies.

Bel Air received 2.8 inches of snow, Darlington 3.1 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Weather forecasters expect frigid weather through the rest of the week. Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, the temperature reached 25 degrees in Bel Air after plunging back into single digits the night before, but four days of cold weather have been taking their toll on homes and other buildings with exposed pipes.

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A fire sprinkler break at Harford Day School and a burst water pipe at St. Patrick Church Hall in Havre de Grace caused some water damage to both buildings Monday, local fire company officials said. A water main break was also reported in downtown Aberdeen Monday.

There is a 60 percent chance of more snow Wednesday, and the high temperature will be 29 degrees, according to the National Weather Service website. Thursday is expected to be partly sunny with a high of 18 degrees, and Friday will be sunny with a high of 15 degrees.

There is a 50 percent chance snow will come back Saturday, however.

The county's public works department had 138 vehicles clearing the roads Tuesday, after pre-treating with chemicals was done starting at 6 p.m. Monday, county spokesperson Cindy Mumby said.

The plows were out most of the night and were still working on smaller roads at about 11 a.m., Mumby said, adding that the county appeared to have received between 2 and 5 inches of snow.

"We were messaging all along for folks to please be careful while they are driving," Mumby said.

Plows could be seen heading up and down North Hickory Avenue in Bel Air early Tuesday morning, as a miniature plow even cleared the sidewalk in front of Bel Air Town Hall and people were out shoveling nearby sidewalks.

The school at Saint Margaret Parish was closed, but the parish office was open, as well as the chapel.

"We had our first service in the chapel at 8:30 a.m.," maintenance tech Joe Kuhn said as he finished shoveling sidewalks around the parish property.

"I'd say that it was what I thought was going to happen," he said of Monday night and Tuesday morning's snowfall.

Bel Air Town Hall opened for business on time Tuesday.

"The town was awfully quiet this morning when I was driving in," Director of Administration Michael Krantz said. "No problems, though."

Krantz said the streets looked clear along his route to work.

"I live in town," he said. "My street looked good this morning."

Havre de Grace City Hall did not open until noon Tuesday. Aberdeen City Hall opened at its usual time, at 8 a.m. Tuesday night's Mardi Gras parade in Havre de Grace was postponed until Friday night.

Tuesday night's Havre de Grace City Council meeting will be held as scheduled, according to the city website. Public hearings on a comprehensive rezoning bill and an overhaul of the ethics code will be held at 7 p.m. at City Hall, followed by the regular council meeting.

A fire at an Aberdeen apartment complex displaced one person Tuesday morning, the Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Association reported.

Just after 7 a.m., the Aberdeen Fire Department, Level Volunteer Fire Company and Aberdeen Proving Ground Fire Department were dispatched for a fire in the 100 block of Plaza Court in the Warwick Plaza Apartments, according to Jenn Chenworth-Price, spokesperson for the Harford Volunteer Fire and EMS Association.

No injuries were reported, but the fire caused about $25,000 in damage, according to the association. The displaced adult was being assisted by the Harford County Disaster Team, Chenworth-Price reported on the association's media Facebook page. Units cleared the scene at 8:15 a.m.

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