Crews Hit 1,000 Miles Of Roads In Hard-Hit Harford County

HARFORD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Harford County Executive David Craig has issued an executive order declaring a State of Emergency in Harford County due to the winter storm.

Alex DeMetrick has a look at what people in the northern part of Maryland were dealing with Thursday.

It was a slow ride from Baltimore to northern Harford County, but for all of the right reasons.

Using what tools there are to battle back against winter, convoys of a dozen or more plow and salt trucks created a rolling roadblock on the Beltway.

Not that there was much traffic:

Throughout Harford County, plows pretty much had the roads all to themselves.

With drivers staying home, it was just the help road crews needed.

“It takes our county DPW with over 130 personnel around seven hours to blow more than a thousand miles of county roads,” said Bob Thomas, Harford County Emergency Management.

And with snow falling harder than expected –up to a foot and half near the state line–as soon as one seven-hour run was finished, another started up again.

But persistence, coupled with rain and warmer temperatures, made most roads here passable with caution.

“They’re doing a great job.  A great job. The roads are fairly clear,” said Marie Weiner, of Harford County.

But that same midday change in the weather turned into a race against the clock for homeowners trying to dig out.

“Thing I’m worried about is getting this up before we get rain on top of it, and then it gets heavy,” said Larry Moffitt, of Harford County.

That’s a concern even when the snow blower is a 200 horsepower monster capable of clearing large parking lots quickly if conditions are right.

“If it rains a lot and it freezes over again, then I’ll start breaking shear bolts on the blower. That’ll slow me down,” said Dave Davis, private contractor.

And it’s the shifting nature of this storm that generates caution.

“We’re concerned with the sleet and freezing rains our roads are going to turn into an icy mess,” Thomas said.

So emergency managers in Harford County are hoping the common sense that kept people home during the day will do the same at night.

There are more than 100 crews in Harford County working to clear more than 1,000 road miles of snow, slush and ice from the storm.

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