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The snowstorm and accompanying high winds that buffeted Harford County Thursday evening and Friday morning caused considerable damage and also forced schools to close another day.

Several hundred homes lost power and many trees and limbs fell, some with potentially dire consequences.

Early Friday morning, George Stiles said a large white oak tree fell on his daughter’s home on Lake Drive in Bel Air. The tree was estimated to be more than 100 feet tall and the trunk was 3 feet wide.

“My daughter was in the corner bedroom when the tree hit the house,” Stiles, who also lives in Bel Air, wrote in an e-mail. “My two grandchildren had just left the room to get a snack from the kitchen. The Harford County building inspector said the brick wall stopped the tree and probably saved my daughter’s life.”

Stiles’ family called Bob White of Bertha’s Tree Service in Bel Air to remove the tree.

“Mr. White had to bring in a large construction crane from Baltimore in order to clear the tree from the house,” Stiles said. “Mr. White has been in business for over 20 years and said this was some of the worst damage he has seen from a fallen tree.”

Stiles is grateful nobody was seriously injured.

“A house can be replaced,” he said.

The Harford County Sheriff’s Office received several reports of vehicles stuck in roadways because of snow drifts and banks.

The sheriff’s office also received calls about fallen trees and downed wires and scattered motor vehicle accidents. None of the accidents was serious.

At 5 a.m. Friday, Harford Superintendent Robert Tomback opted to close schools because of extreme whiteout conditions and severe winds causing drifts throughout the county, according to Teri Kranefeld, manager of communications for the school system.

Friday was the ninth snow day this school year, exceeding the six snow days already built into its school calendar (Please see related story Page A5).

The wind further contributed to more than 200 power outages for Baltimore Gas & Electric customers across the county, according to BGE spokesperson Linda Foy, who said most customers’ power was restored by late Friday afternoon.

The remaining outages were restored over the weekend, but three Harford County BGE customers were still without power as of Tuesday afternoon.


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