Alexandria declares emergency after storms

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ALEXANDRIA, Va. | Thunderstorms hit the Washington suburb of Alexandria on Thursday and high winds knocked down trees onto cars and buildings. The city delclared a local emergency and urged residents to stay in their homes.

Tony Castrilli, director of communications for Alexandria, said the severe storm hit the city about 5:45 p.m. with 60 to 70 mph winds.

“We are advising people to stay off the roads because of extensive trees and power lines down,” Castrilli said. “Driving is hazardous.” He said no severe injuries had been reported.

He said while numerous homes, churches and small buildings were damaged by falling trees, there was no damage to critical infrastructure such as hospitals or city facilities.

U.S. Park Police say trees fell onto three cars and a bus on the George Washington Memorial Parkway near Slaters Lane but no one was injured. Officials report dozens of trees were downed.

Police spokesman Sgt. David said the parkway, which had been closed between Reagan National Airport and the Alexandria City line as crews work to clear the road, had reopened for the northbound lanes.

Authorities in Fairfax and Arlington counties in Virginia and Prince George’s County, Md., also reported falling trees, lightning striking some homes and other damage from the storm.

The severe weather also knocked out power for some residents. Pepco reported more than 48,000 customers were without power in Prince George’s and Montgomery counties and Washington. Baltimore Gas & Electric had nearly 350 customers without power. Dominion, the utility in Virginia, reported more than 60,000 in northern Virginia were without power.

On July 25, fierce storms knocked out power to hundreds of thousands of residents in the D.C. metro area.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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