Snow, sleet, freezing rain tie up traffic in Harford Sunday; schools close Monday

March comes in like a lion with a wintry blast in Harford County

Had enough ice yet?

Winter dealt its latest blow to Harford County this weekend, blasting the area with a slippery mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain all day Sunday.

With temperatures back below freezing overnight, Harford County Public Schools cancelled classes Monday. Harford County government will open at 10 a.m.

The slushy, icy mess put a damper on many people's weekend plans for the second week in a row and tied up roads, including I-95, for the better part of the day.

Harford saw 14 accidents with injury, eight falls and two mutual-aid calls to York County by about 5:30 p.m., Harford County spokesperson Cindy Mumby said. A dwelling fire was also reported in Fallston at 7 a.m., before snow started falling, Fallston Volunteer Fire Company spokesperson Dave Williams said.

"Since 10 a.m., we've had crews out on the roads salting and pushing slush," Mumby said.

One to three inches of snow were projected, and sleet and freezing rain was expected to bring up to a quarter inch of ice to the area, emergency manager Rick Ayers said. A winter storm warning remained in place until 3 a.m. Monday for the area, according to the National Weather Service.

Harford County Public Schools announced shortly before 7 p.m. that classes will start two hours latel on Monday.

"We do want folks to be careful, so we would advise staying off the roads if possible," Mumby said, adding at 5:30 p.m. that "the slush is turning to ice" and county officials would reassess the situation at 8 p.m.

In his morning message, Ayers told residents: "I would expect driving conditions to deteriorate during the afternoon hours. With the current forecast of ice, there is also the chance for power outages."

Harford County's portion of I-95 was among the hardest-hit of the Baltimore-area highways.

By about 4:30 p.m., traffic seemed to clear up as plows continued making their rounds, and most area roads were flowing relatively smoothly.

Several serious accidents were reported throughout the day.

One person was taken by ambulance to a regional trauma center after a crash at Fallston's Route 152 and Stoneybrook Road at about 2:30 p.m., the Harford County Volunteer Fire & EMS Association reported. A technical rescue team was requested to use a stokes basket to remove the patient, who was trapped, according to the Association.

At about the same time, a crash with five patients and three medic units closed three lanes to southbound traffic on I-95 at the Route 24 interchange, the Association reported.

"Did we mention the roads are horrendous & you should stay home," Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company wrote on Twitter about the accident.

All lanes were reported re-opened shortly after 3:30 p.m., according to the Maryland Transportation Authority.

Another accident was reported in northbound traffic on I-95 near Route 155 before 2 p.m., Susquehanna Hose Company reported.

Crashes were also reported at Route 23 and Grafton Shop Road, at Route 543 and Walters Mill Road, Route 543 and Wheel Road, as well as Joppa Farm Road between Route 7 and Route 40.

Fallston fire

Shortly before the storm kicked in, at about 7 a.m., firefighters responded to a fire in the 1700 block of Carrs Mill Court in Fallston, Fallston Volunteer Fire Company spokesperson Dave Williams said.

The homewoner initially canceled the call, Williams said.

"The homeowner told us he had been cleaning his fireplace and dropped some ashes and embers and it actually ignited a small rug but the fire was out," Williams said.

The company, however, received an automatic fire alarm from the home shortly after. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke in the space under the rug, he said.

"Fortunately, we did respond and did investigate, because the rafter or joist had a natural gas line under it, so if it continued to burn, it could have been catastrophic," Williams said.

No one was injured and no major property damage was reported, he said.

He urged residents to let firefighters respond to all incidents even if a fire appears to be out.

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