Harford Week

February 23, 2003

Harford continues digging out from 2-foot snowfall

Harford County spent last week trying to clear away the 2-foot snowfall from the Presidents Day storm.

The estimated $1 million task was helped by mild weather toward the end of the week, but the approach of a rainstorm heightened fears of flooding, particularly along the Susquehanna River and its tributaries.

"Flooding is a concern over the weekend on streams and the Susquehanna River. Ice jams of streams and rivers could also intensify the flooding," said Douglas Richmond, county emergency manager. "There is a definite risk of urban flooding where the snowfall has clogged the storm drains."

The snowstorm took a heavy toll.

Mark H. Hundley, 42, of the 200 block of Hunters Run Terrace, Bel Air, died Monday after shoveling snow.

County public schools were closed all week, bringing to nine the number of days missed this school year because of inclement weather. Three snow days were originally planned, so the Board of Education is pondering how to make up the lost time and has scheduled a discussion of its options for its meeting tomorrow at Edgewood High School.

Donald Morrison, a spokesman for county public schools, said the state last agreed to waive county school make-up days in the 1999-2000 school year. This was because of hurricane damage in September and an ice storm in January. The state waived four make-up days.

Morrison said Superintendent Jacqueline C. Haas and the Board of Education haven't had discussions yet that could lead to a request for a waiver of make-up days this year.

Officials called on residents to help clear the county's 4,200 fire hydrants as soon as possible.

"If the hydrant in your neighborhood can't be cleared, use a tall pole or tree branch with a rag tied to the top or some other marker to identify the location; or use blue spray paint to print FH [fire hydrant] in the snow at the site," officials advised. "Digging out or marking the location of the hydrants has a twofold purpose: It prevents damage to the hydrants from snowplows continuing to clear county streets and it also helps preserve fire protection for the community," said Richard Rex, superintendent of facilities.

Heavy snow on rooftops sparked a flurry of calls to the county inspections office, said chief Richard Lynch. The Weis grocery store at Route 24 and MacPhail Road had to be shut down Wednesday after heavy snow on the roof caused a door to pop off its tracks and raised concerns that the pressure on the glass could blow out windows, he said.

Structural engineers were assessing how to safely remove a 6- to 8-foot snowdrift on the roof, Lynch said, adding that the store would remain closed until repairs could be made. He said employees noticed buckling in the front wall Monday night, but didn't realize the potential gravity of the situation until later. "After seeing the symptoms [of an overloaded roof], we didn't want a store loaded with shoppers," Lynch said.

Brady joins Guard unit as flight surgeon

Maj. Kevin Brady has joined the 158th Cavalry Squadron of the Maryland Army National Guard, based at Edgewood Arsenal.

Brady, who has served in the military for 11 years, is an anesthesia resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital in civilian life. He will be flight surgeon for the 158th Cavalry Squadron.

Brady is a resident of Owings Mills and recently transferred his National Guard membership from a unit in Utah.

Grocery store rally postponed in Joppatowne

The Joppatowne grocery store rally scheduled for today has been postponed again because of forecasted poor weather, organizers say.

The rally has been rescheduled, rain or shine, for 3 p.m. March 2 at Joppatowne Plaza, at Joppa Farm Road and U.S. 40. Information: County Councilman Dion F. Guthrie, a Democrat who represents the Joppatowne area, 410-638-3343.

Pennsylvania Reservists ordered to Aberdeen

More than 170 Army Reservists from Coraopolis, Pa., have been mobilized as the United States prepares for war with Iraq.

Reservists from the 99th Regional Support Command's 298th Transportation Company left their home station in Franklin, Pa., for their mobilization site at the Army's Aberdeen Proving Ground last week, the 99th's headquarters in Coraopolis said.

The unit handles bulk petroleum.

Senate panel hears tax district proposal

The Senate Budget and Taxation Committee in Annapolis heard County Executive James M. Harkins' proposal to create special taxing districts, primarily to help fund road improvements on the Perryman peninsula.

The hearing Wednesday was brief, with little discussion of the plan.

Cassilly proposes county hire a full-time auditor

County Councilman Robert G. Cassilly, a Republican who represents the Bel Air area, proposed that the council hire a full-time auditor to help it keep watch on county expenditures.

"Just as we have a council attorney to advise us on legal matters, we should also have a council auditor to advise us on financial matters," Cassilly said.

Cecil County

Alice's Wonderland opens in Perryville

Alice's Wonderland has opened a 2,700-square-foot store at Prime Outlets at Perryville.

The store features gifts, cards, collectible and home accessories.

Charles and Alice Holmes of Chestertown own the shop. "We are looking forward to serving the people of Cecil County by offering them a unique mix of gifts and collectibles that may not be available to them in this market," Alice Holmes said.

The store is expected to create three jobs.

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