- Associated Press - Thursday, August 12, 2010

Storms swept through the region early Thursday and quickly dumped large amounts of rain, downing trees, closing streets and knocking out power to 150 traffic lights in Montgomery County.

Fire officials said 10 people suffered minor injuries when a tree fell onto an apartment building in Gaithersburg, crushing its second and third floors. Four people were taken to a hospital, and six were treated at the scene.

Most of the damage in Maryland was in the Washington suburbs, but the Maryland Emergency Management Agency hadn’t received any requests for help by midday, said agency spokesman Ed McDonough. 

More storms hit the area Thursday night.

About a dozen Pentagon workers with mops and vacuums cleaned water from corridors in one area of the huge Defense Department headquarters in Northern Virginia, while fans were set up to dry the carpet in another corridor.

Another dozen workers were on the roof checking for leaks and other problems, said Lt. Col. Robert Ditchey, a Pentagon spokesman.

About 93,000 Pepco customers were still without power Thursday afternoon, most of them in Montgomery County. The White Oak and Walnut Hill Motor Vehicle Administration offices and Montgomery College lost power and were forced to close. A county spokesman said 10 roads were closed and 150 traffic lights were out because of downed power lines and trees.

A Pepco spokesman said some outages are expected to last for several days. About 6,000 BGE customers in the Baltimore area were still without power around midday, down from 22,000 earlier. Thousands also were without power in Delaware.

Gov. Martin O’Malley sent a letter to the Maryland Public Service Commission asking for an investigation into why Pepco is having so many outages for such long durations.

“This situation is totally unacceptable,” Mr. O’Malley wrote. “Power stays on more consistently in many developing nations than it does now in the communities surrounding our nation’s capital.”

Two Metro stations also were affected by the outage. The Forest Glen station was closed temporarily and reopened at 9:20 a.m., while the Cleveland Park station remained closed as of late morning. Metrorail officials said crews continued to pump floodwater out of the station and could not estimate when it might reopen. Metro trains and MARC’s Brunswick line also were delayed after a tree fell on the tracks between Silver Spring and Takoma Park, causing trains to share a single track.

That blockage was cleared about 10 a.m.

Service on MARC’s Penn line was delayed between Baltimore and Washington because of power outages.

In Washington, fire and EMS officials said they received about 200 emergency calls related to the storm.

“Every single one of our units was on a call,” spokesman Pete Piringer said.

Flooding also was reported in northern parts of Washington, and Mr. Piringer said about a dozen people were rescued from vehicles trapped in floodwaters throughout the city. In Northeast Washington, lightning set fire to a residential attic. One person was treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation.

 

 

 


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