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After Sandy: Carroll County Gets Back on Track

"Carroll County emerged from Sandy relatively unscathed." -- Commissioner Haven Shoemaker

Carroll County returns to normal today after spending several days preparing for and dealing with Hurricane Sandy which made landfall in New Jersey late Monday evening.

After being closed for two days, Carroll County Public Schools and county government offices return to normal schedules Wednesday. 

"I think we did an extremely good job, we were prepared for much worse," Commissioner Doug Howard said. 

Check out Patch's comprehensive Hurricane Sandy coverage. 

As of Tuesday night BGE said 2,003 Carroll County customers were still without power. More than 112,000 BGE customers were still without power across the state.

County officials said most of the Carroll County's damage came from flooding and downed trees and wires. Commissioner Howard told Patch Tuesday that he expected the Emergency Operation Center would remain open for several more days to ensure all roads return to normal and storm cleanup is complete.

Two shelters were opened prior to the start of the storm, one at Century High School and one at Winters Mill High School. According to county representative Roberta Windham, 16 people used the Winters Mill shelter Monday night, none used the Century shelter. Both shelters were closed Tuesday afternoon and residents who needed shelter were directed to the Human Service Programs cold weather shelter on Stoner Avenue.

McDaniel College Media Director Cheryl Knauer said the college fared well during the storm. She said the school did not lose power and there was only minimal damage in some buildings that included water leaks. 

Carroll County Public Schools will operate on a normal schedule Wednesday according to school superintendent Steve Guthrie. Guthrie told Patch that the county has five emergency closing days built in to the calendar, two of which were used for Hurricane Sandy. 

Commissioner Richard Rothschild said that Hurricane Sandy provides the opportunity for the county to become more prepared for future events.

"Hurricane Sandy also provides an opportunity for government and citizens to ask some important questions," Rothschild said.  "Suppose we had taken a more direct hit?  Suppose serious infrastructure damage knocked out power for two weeks or more?  Suppose food stores and gas stations were unable to open?  What would we do?"

Rothschild said the board of commissioners and emergency services have been and will continue to "devise enhanced response capabilities during the coming months." He also encouraged citizens to take the time to research and better prepare for disasters to avoid last minute emergencies.  

Commissioner Haven Shoemaker said he is thankful that the county fared as well as it did. 

"Thankfully, Carroll County emerged from Sandy relatively unscathed," Shoemaker said. "The storm could have been much, much worse."

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