- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 14, 2002

ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) Heavy storms brought down trees, knocked out power and damaged homes in central Maryland as the state weathered severe thunderstorms for a second day.
Funnel clouds were reported in Montgomery and Howard counties and in Baltimore city in the afternoon as a band of storms moved across the state. It was not clear if any touched down to form tornadoes, said Andy Woodcock, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Tornado warnings were issued for most of the region.
Damage was reported in a one-mile radius near Route 29 and Frederick Road in Ellicott City when the storm hit about 3:30 p.m., according to county spokeswoman Victoria Goodman.
At least two homes were heavily damaged, but county officials had no reports of injuries, Miss Goodman said.
A funnel cloud was reported over Rockville earlier in the afternoon, but there were no reports of damage, according to the Montgomery County fire department. Funnel clouds are spinning columns of air that resemble tornadoes but don't reach the ground.
Roughly 18,000 Baltimore Gas & Electric customers lost power as a result of the storm, with 7,700 affected in Howard County, according to BGE spokeswoman Karen Wilson Davis.
A storm Sunday night knocked out power to about 35,000 BGE customers and blew a tree into a house in Arbutus. An elderly couple inside the house escaped unharmed.
A large tree also fell into the residential part of the Olney Theater Center in Montgomery County, said county fire spokesman Pete Piringer. A dozen persons were inside, but none was hurt, he said.
In Virginia yesterday, a Troutville woman died when a tree fell on her during a thunderstorm.
Angelique Baker, 21, was putting up a tent for a rental company when the storm hit. Police said an 80-foot sycamore was uprooted by strong winds and crashed down on the tent.
Mrs. Baker was pronounced dead at the scene.
Two men who also were working on the tent were taken to a hospital in Roanoke with injuries. All three were preparing for a picnic scheduled for today for a hospital.
The fast-moving storm dropped about a half-inch of rain on the Roanoke area as it swept across the state. Smyth County was the hardest hit, getting drenched with eight-tenths of an inch of rain, according to the National Weather Service in Blacksburg.


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