O'Malley: State Assessing Severe Storm Damage

Primary concerns are high heat coupled with more severe weather expected late this afternoon and evening and restoring power to 800,000 people.

UPDATED (2:19 p.m.)—Gov. Martin O'Malley said state officials are assessing damage across Maryland in the wake of a severe line of thunderstorms that has knocked out power to more than 820,000 customers statewide.

In a conference call with reporters, the governor and other state officials said they are assessing the need for cooling centers as the state faces expected severe hot weather over the next several days.

Power restoration is also a priority as emergency management officials say they are tracking a line of severe storms that are expected to hit the state as early as late Saturday afternoon.

"The utilities are taking the lead on this and the counties are supporting them," O'Malley said. "We're helping [the counties]."

Across Maryland there are still more than 800,000 customers without power including more than 400,000 in the BGE service area.

BGE and PEPCO officials said that power restoration "will be a multiday effort."

Residents were warned about downed power lines and taking breaks from the heat while cleaning up storm debris.

In Anne Arundel County, a in Edgewater Friday night, according to Edgewater-Davidsonville Patch.

Montgomery County police said a Saturday morning when Fire and Rescue personnel responded to a call for a tree down on a home in the 10000 block of Grant Avenue in Silver Spring.

She was apparently killed when a large Maple tree fell through the roof and onto her bed, according to .

A PEPCO official said there was one death in northern Washington, DC related to touching a downed power line.

State officials hope to update power restoration efforts in a few hours.

"A number of substations are coming back on line in the next few hours and we'll have a better grasp of things," O'Malley said.

State transportation Secretary Beverley Swaim-Staley told reporters that state highway crews are focusing most of their efforts in Charles and Montgomery counties, where the bulk of the traffic light outages are.

State officials are also rerouting some bus routes to account for roads blocked by downed trees.

The Chesapeake Bay Bridge was re-opened today after being closed for four hours during the storm Friday night when high winds pushed an 18-wheel truck into a barrier.

Bart July 03, 2012 at 01:34 PM
There you go again, NDR. Putting some sense into the discussion!
Bart July 03, 2012 at 01:36 PM
Get out the torches and pitchforks!
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Ronald July 20, 2012 at 11:31 AM
O'Malley for President in 2016 - after all - isn'tthat what it's all about?
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