Storm causes flooding, mudslides in Harford County

June 13, 1996|By A SUN STAFF WRITER

An afternoon thunderstorm yesterday dropped more than 3 inches of rain on parts of Harford County, caused some flooding and mudslides that closed several roads and knocked out traffic lights in the northern county.

"Between 4: 30 and 6, it got really crazy here in the county, with lightning strikes and rain," said Sgt. Edward Hopkins of the Harford County Sheriff's Office.

Although the thunderstorms hit all of Central Maryland, the heaviest rainfall was concentrated in a narrow band in western Harford.

"The radar shows a fairly extensive area of 3-inch plus rainfall that fell late this afternoon centered on the area around Jarrettsville," said Steve Zubrick, a National Weather Service forecaster at Sterling, Va.

The storm was typical of spring and summer thunderstorms. It was caused by a moist, unstable air mass that can trigger the storms at several scattered points, Zubrick said.

The storm knocked out power to about 31,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers, many of them in Baltimore, which had 12,000 outages, said Darcel Guy, a utility spokeswoman. In Baltimore County, 5,000 customers lost power; in Harford 8,500. About 3,400 BGE customers were still without power at 10 p.m., but their service was expected to be restored by 6 a.m.

In Harford, lightning knocked out traffic signals north of Bel Air, making the evening drive home a headache for commuters. A mudslide closed Route 165 west of Bel Air near the Baltimore County line from about 5: 20 p.m. until it was cleared by State Highway Administration crews shortly after 6: 30 p.m., said Valerie Burnette Edgar, an SHA spokeswoman. Another mudslide closed Morse Road in Jarrettsville and rising water in Winters Run overran a bridge on Carrs Mill Road, forcing its closing, the Harford County Sheriff's Office said.

In Baltimore, lightning struck a fire house in the 3700 block of Roland Ave., knocking out the base station radio, said Battalion Chief Hector Torres, a Fire Department spokesman. Communications were maintained with portable units.

Pub Date: 6/13/96

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