WEATHER

Severe storms topple trees onto homes, knock out power to thousands

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WASHINGTON (AP/WJLA) — Utility crews are working to restore power to thousands of customers in the mid-Atlantic region after strong storms packing gusty winds moved through the area, damaging home homes and toppling trees and power lines.

Damage on Rockville Pike at the Beltway in the storm's wake. (Photo: Dave Dildine/WTOP)
Tree damage in Southern Kensington neighborhood of Montgomery Co. (Photo: lcantillo/WTOP)
Storm damage from Martinsburg on Woodbriar Golf Course. (Photo: Dwayne Myers/WJLA)

As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, Baltimore Gas and Electric reported about 13,800 Maryland customers without service, while Potomac Edison was reporting more than 24,500 customers without power in Maryland.

Pepco was reporting about 4,400 customers in Montgomery and Prince Georges counties and the District of Columbia, a significant decrease from the reported 33,000 without power Tuesday night. Pepco officials said power would be restored to all of its customers by Wednesday evening.

Dominion Power, whose outages peaked at 40,000, was reporting about 1,300 customers without power in northern Virginia Wednesday morning. Delmarva Power was reporting a similar number of outages in northern Delaware and northern areas of Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Click here to view the latest power outage numbers in the region.

The most significant damage appeared to be in Sliver Spring, Md., where a large tree came crashing down into a house at 10621 Lorain Avenue.

"I saw the dark clouds coming, and the wind just picked up, and I yelled up to my daughter...'I don't want you upstairs with this wind!'" said homeowner Kellie Hanrahan.

Moments later, there was a huge crash that according to Kellie's daughter Caroline, felt like an earthquake.

"We were screaming, we didn't know what was happening...I'm still in shock," said Kellie.

A tree had fallen right on the very spot where 16-year-old Caroline had been watching a movie -- just moments before her Mom called her downstairs.

"The tree is on her bed, where she was sitting," said Kellie.

Caroline's sister Cathleen and her mother were the only ones home. Their father and brother were on their way back from playing baseball.

No injuries occurred, said Montgomery County Fire Dept. spokesman Pete Piringer, but the Red Cross was called in to assist the displaced family of five.

Other downed trees and power lines also caused hazards on roadways in Montgomery County including Rockville Pike at the Beltway, and along Wake Drive in the Southern Kensington neighborhood.

Elsewhere, large toppled trees littered portions of the Woodbriar Golf Course in Martinsburg, W. Va., falling dangerously close to homes and buildings along the edge of the course.

As for baseball's Battle of the Beltways, the second game in the series between the Washington Nationals and the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night was postponed because of the severe weather. A makeup game will be played on August 4th.

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