- The Washington Times - Friday, November 5, 2004

Wind gusts of 40 mph from a low pressure system from New England knocked out power for more than 20,000 residents in the metropolitan area.

Power company officials said downed trees were the main cause of the power losses.

“We did have a lot of tress and tree limbs coming down due to the wind and that is what caused the vast majority of our outages,” said Linda Foy, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Gas and Electric.

The power company’s crews along with those from Potomac Electric Power Co. and Virginia Dominion Power were dispatched early yesterday morning to fix the outages, especially in the heavily affected areas of Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

The outages in Anne Arundel left the Maryland State House without power from 8 a.m. until 9:30 a.m.

Ms. Foy said the Maryland State House ran on backup generator power for part of the morning until a power company crew fixed the problem.

Several schools in the county also were affected by the outages. Broadneck High School, Cape St. Claire Elementary and Windsor Farm Elementary closed early.

Mary-Beth Hutchinson, a Pepco spokeswoman, said area residents not affected by yesterday’s winds likely have paid close attention to their trees.

“This is when people appreciate if they have had their trees trimmed,” she said.

Despite the power losses, there were no reports of injuries or major damage.

Aside from downed wires from a felled tree in McLean, damage in Northern Virginia was minimal, Dominion officials said.

Bill Rice, public information officer for the District’s Department of Transportation, said he received one call about a tree landing on a house, but the remainder of the reports were not as severe.

“I’d say it’s relatively light damage,” he said.

Reports from local power companies indicated that power had been restored for all but 800 customers by late yesterday afternoon.

“Our estimated time of power restoration was late this afternoon, early this evening, so we’re still on target to meet that,” Ms. Foy said.

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