Howard County Weathers Sandy Well

Despite some power outages and a few incidents, overall the county stayed safe during the storm.


Howard County awakened from Hurricane Sandy on Tuesday morning, in many cases, with its power on, the streets clear and the outside wet, but not flooded.

There were no deaths reported as a result of the storm in the county and the only serious injures were the result of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to Howard County officials. BGE  in the county as of 4 p.m. Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, county and BGE officials were working to clean up downed trees and power lines on several roads, but most roads were passable throughout the county.

“Generally it could have been a lot worse,” said County Executive Ken Ulman. “Based on what happened in New York and New Jersey we made it out pretty well.”

Perhaps the worst aspect of the storm was in Savage, where the county’s Little Patuxent Water Reclamation Plant overflowed sending millions of gallons of wastewater into the Little Patuxent River. 

BGE restored power to the plant at around 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, after 20 to 25 million gallons of wastewater had spilled into the river, according to county officials.

In North Laurel, three residents were in serious condition after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning from running a generator inside their home. A Howard County fire spokesperson said the carbon monoxide level inside the home was 30 times the normal level and warned residents to never use a generator inside.

The Patapsco River held overnight and Main Street in Ellicott City avoided what would have been the second straight year of fall floods. 

Around Columbia, a few large trees were uprooted and debris such as small branches and limbs littered side streets, but reported damage was minimal.

A tree fell in the middle of a home in North Laurel, but safety officials said they believe the family was in the basement and had escaped harm.

A Wilde Lake apartment complex was evacuated early Tuesday morning after 3 to 4 inches of rain accumulated on its roof, but firefighters pumped the water off and declared the building safe. 

County officials said between eight and 12 people used the county’s emergency shelter at the Florence Bain Center in Columbia.

Heavy rains and strong winds belted the county between 5 p.m. and midnight on Oct. 29 with wind gusts reaching a high speed of 59 mph, according to the National Weather Service. Over the 36 hours between early Monday morning and Tuesday afternoon, approximately 6.5 inches of rain fell in the county, according to NWS.

Howard County government buildings will reopen on Wednesday after being closed on Monday and Tuesday. Trash and recycling pickup will resume on Wednesday under a slide schedule, so if your pickup was on Tuesday, it will be on Wednsday, normal Wednesday pickups will be on Thursday and so on.

All but 10 county schools will open Wednesday at the regularly scheduled time. If power is not restored by 5 a.m., the following schools will remain closed on Wednesday:

Bollman Bridge ES, Dayton Oaks ES, Longfellow ES, Triadelphia Ridge ES, Folly Quarter MS, Patuxent Valley MS, Wilde Lake MS, Glenelg HS, Hammond HS and Wilde Lake HS.

What was your experience like during Hurricane Sandy? - Tell us in the comments.

Related Articles

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  • UPDATE: Millions of Gallons of Raw Sewage Overflows into Little Patuxent
  • Carbon Monoxide Sends 3 to Shock Trauma
  • PHOTOS: Sandy's Aftermath in Columbia
  • Carroll County Assesses Effects of Hurricane Sandy
  • Something Smelly in Ellicott City
  • Power Restored at Savage Wastewater Facility
  • PHOTOS: Tree On North Laurel House Causes ‘Significant Damage'

Lauren October 30, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Still without power here in Jessup & have been since 10:30p last night...
Andrew Metcalf October 30, 2012 at 08:44 PM
Hi Lauren, yes there are still many w/o power, and please keep us updated. At this point it's about 10 percent of the county w/o power.
Pete Polley October 31, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Though a young boy at the time, I remember the damage from Hurricane Agnes. We were without power for four days, and while nearby West Friendship Elementary was being used as a shelter, my parents decided to tough it out. Downtown EC was devastated, nearby Eldersburg was innundated, and the B&O mainline through Sykesville was washed out in several places. I'm glad Sandy was a bit more cooperative.


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