Most of the power outages that had shuttered businesses and affected Harford County government buildings along much of Main Street in Bel Air, as well as some surrounding residential neighborhoods, had been eliminated by Tuesday morning.
Though Main Street in the central business area resembled a "ghost town," in the words of one man who was walking to his job cleaning offices in a building that did have power Monday evening, the area around Main Street and Broadway finally had its power restored around 9 p.m.
The same happened along the east side of South Main, where power was also restored Monday evening, according to one business owner.
The west side of that block was not so fortunate, as the block bounded by South Main, Pennsylvania Avenue, Bond Street and Office Street was still without power around 10 a.m. Tuesday.
The block is home to several law offices, the Harford County Council offices, a bank and a restaurant. Some offices were occupied and business was apparently being carried on, while their doors and windows were open in the absence of air-conditioning.
Traffic lights at Main and Pennsylvania, Main and Broadway and Rock Spring and Vale roads were back on Monday evening. The light at Bond and Office was not working Tuesday, however, and Office Street on the south side of the Circuit Courthouse remained closed to traffic.
At the Bel Air Reckord Armory in the first block of North Main Street, a Muslim group was just finishing up its celebration of the end of Ramadan Tuesday morning.
Farther north on Main Street, the Klein's ShopRite at Main and Broadway had its power restored Monday evening and reopened Tuesday morning. The store had been without power since Monday morning, according to the owners.
Homes in the nearby West Bel Air neighborhood had their power restored Monday evening as well, after doing without for the better part of two days.
"I got a call from Venice, Florida, shortly after 9, 'Mother, your power should be on in about…,' and the light went on," Maryterese Streett, who lives in the neighborhood, said Tuesday. "This Internet is something. I don't know how they can tell down to the block, the house."
Streett and her husband, Eugene, own Boyd & Fulford Drugs in the first block of South Main Street, which was also without power on Monday, but they opened anyway.
"We're glad to have the power back, here and at home," she said
County government reopens
Harford County government offices reopened at 10 a.m. Tuesday, county spokesman Bob Thomas said.
A liberal leave policy was in effect and critical employees were to report as usual, Thomas said.
The county offices were closed Monday because of the power outages and downed trees blocking roads. The county's operations are centered in downtown Bel Air, and the power outages affected several key government buildings.
In a news advisory announcing the decision to reopen county offices Tuesday, it was noted that more than 50 county roads were still closed Monday evening and that power outages continued to affect many homes and businesses across the county.
The Harford County Sheriff's Office headquarters building at 45 S. Main St. in Bel Air was without power Monday, and phone lines, fax machines and other electronics were not functioning, according to Monica Worrell, public information officer with the sheriff's office.
Worrell, who was working in the building Monday, said generators were powering essential functions in the building.
"We're handling calls for service and responding to emergencies as needed," Worrell said, adding that the power outage was not negatively affecting police service to the county.
Worrell said Tuesday the power was back when she got to work that morning.
An informed source also said the main county government office building at 220 S. Main St. in Bel Air, where Harford County Executive David Craig has his office, has been operating on generator power since Sunday.
The Harford County Courthouse was re-opened Tuesday, as was the Mary Risteau District Court Building.
The Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack at Routes 1 and 147 in Benson, about two miles south of Bel Air, was operating on a generator Tuesday morning. Several buildings in the heavy commercial area around the barrack did have power, but the state police building had been without it, troopers said.
Baltimore Gas & Electric's website was still reporting 18,500 Harford County customers without power as of 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, down considerably from Monday when at times upward of 40,000 were without electricity. The company has 101,000 customers in Harford and, according to its website, the company had restored power to 81,000 customers since the beginning of the storm.
Monday evening, several calls were broadcast over the county's emergency radio frequency for transformer fires and downed wires at multiple locations around the county. Further details were not available.
Check back with http://www.exploreharford.com and see Wednesday's print edition of The Aegis for all the latest news about the aftermath of Hurricane Irene in Harford County.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times