Harford County's Emergency Operations Center said residents can expect up to a foot of rain and wind gusts of 80 miles per hour as Hurricane Sandy continues to drive west into Maryland.
In a noon update, Emergency Manager Rick Ayers said: "In the last six hours, Hurricane Sandy has strengthened. Harford County is now expected to receive 9 to 12 inches of rain and hurricane force winds of 70 to 80 miles per hour. The sustained winds starting at 6 p.m. today will be in the range of 45 to 55 mph."
Patterson Mill High School is set up as an emergency shelter, and the county is urging those residents living in flood-prone areas to self-evacuate immediately due to inland flooding.
All government offices in the county are closed. The emergency hotline for the county is 410-838-5800.
"Unless you have to drive I recommend that this afternoon through Tuesday you remain off of the roads," Ayers added.