- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2006

4:23 p.m.

The powerful storm that swept through the region last night damaged hundreds of homes and knocked out electricity for thousands of residents, including some who might be without service until the weekend.

A Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. spokeswoman said that the company expects to fix most of the outages by tonight but that some residents might have to wait until tomorrow or Sunday.

Shelley Cogle, a resident of Bowie, in Prince George’s County, whose garage was hit by a tree, said she has been without power since the storm hit yesterday at about 6:30 p.m.

“The county was saying two to three days,” Mrs. Cogle said. “The neighbor next door has a power line down in their back yard, so my guess is a couple days.”

The National Weather Service is investigating whether the storm spawned tornadoes in Anne Arundel and Prince George’s counties. One of the suspected tornadoes might have touched down near Severna Park, in Anne Arundel County, according to the agency’s preliminary report. An official finding is expected today by 5 p.m.

“Just a few minutes after 6 p.m., we started receiving numerous calls from Bowie,” said Mark Brady, a spokesman for Prince George’s County fire department.

He said some neighborhoods sustained significant damage, with trees and utility wires knocked down. However, he was reluctant to call the storm a tornado.

“From my experience … we may have experienced a microburst or excessive winds,” Mr. Brady said.

He also said none of the homes had significant damage but that a large number sustained some type of structural damage.

Mr. Brady reported no injuries in Prince George’s County. A report last night of a storm-related injury in Anne Arundel County could not be confirmed.

Baltimore Gas & Electric reported that 20,000 homes were without power almost immediately after the storm. As of this afternoon, 2,263 homes in Anne Arundel County and 1,206 in Prince George’s County were without power, according to company Web site.

Pepco services just a small section of Prince George’s County and reported 19 outages in the region this afternoon.

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