- The Washington Times - Monday, May 13, 2002

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Severe thunderstorms swept across the area yesterday, bringing strong winds that knocked out power to thousands, blew down trees and damaged cars as well as some buildings.
A large tree fell into the residential part of the Olney Theater Center in Montgomery County.
About a dozen people were inside, but none was hurt, fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said. The tree caused about $50,000 in damage, he said.
"Collected Stories," a Helen Hayes Award-winning play, is currently on stage at the historic theater on Route 108.
A home in the Olney area also sustained minor damage when some trees and power lines fell onto it, starting a fire. Everyone inside escaped without injury.
Authorities closed Route 355 near Middlebrook Road in Germantown for several hours in the evening after falling trees knocked down power lines. About 500 customers were reported without power.
About 35,000 customers lost power in central and northern parts of the state, said Nancy Caplan, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Gas & Electric.
Hardest hit was the city of Baltimore, where 12,500 customers lost power, she said. Thousands of others were without power in Anne Arundel, Howard, Carroll, Baltimore and Harford counties as of 10 p.m.
Miss Caplan said she did not know when the power would be restored. "The front is still coming through, so we are not giving exact figures yet," she said yesterday. "We know we will be working through the night."
About 850 customers of Potomac Electric Power Co. lost power, including 460 in Montgomery County, 145 Prince George's and 250 in the District, Pepco spokesman Charles Taylor said.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for southern Carroll and Frederick counties in the early evening, but there were no reports of a funnel cloud touching down.


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