Powerful Storms Strike Baltimore Area: 100K Without Power Across MD
MARYLAND - Powerful storms rocked northern and central Maryland on Monday night, downing trees, trapping motorists, and leaving tens of thousands without power as of Tuesday morning.
According to the National Weather Service, the storm, a “bow echo,” developed east of the Blue Ridge Mountains before slamming into the Baltimore area around 6 p.m. The New York Times reports that Baltimore and Harford Counties were among the hardest-hit regions anywhere in the country.
Forecasters and officials warned of damaging wind gusts, heavy rain, and the chance for tornadoes. The predictions came to pass, with thousands losing power within minutes of the first raindrops falling.
According to PowerOutage.US, 103,614 utility customers were without power across Maryland by 10:30 p.m. The most outages were in Carroll County, with about 32,906, 33,119 outages in Baltimore County, and 13,158 outages in Harford County.
It was a busy night for emergency services across Maryland as local volunteer agencies responded to trapped residents amid dangerous conditions.
In White Hall, two residents were rescued by the Jarrettsville Volunteer Fire Company and Special Operations Team after a tree fell on their home.
Also in White Hall, firefighters worked to put out a blaze at the BGE substation in the 5000 block of Jolly Acres.
WJZ-TV reports that dozens were trapped in their cars after utility poles fell onto cars in Westminster.
“This is catastrophic damage,” BGE spokesman Nick Alexopolos told WJZ. “This is damage that if you worked in electric distribution at BGE for your entire career, you may see it once.”
In Bel Air, Volunteer Firefighters rescued residents of an apartment building that was severely damaged after a tree fell into it.
Firefighters from the Susquehanna Hose Company in Havre de Grace rescued a woman trapped in a tree during the storm.
Both the Baltimore and Harford County governments sent employees home at 3:00 p.m. on Monday in preparation for the storms. Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly warned residents to prepare for “hurricane-force winds” and activated the Harford County Emergency Operations Center to monitor the situation.
The Maryland Transit Administration suspended service between Mondawmin and Owings Mills “due to the inclement weather conditions in our service area and several trees down blocking the tracks” around 6:30 p.m.
By 9:30 p.m., power outages were causing delays and cancellations along the light rail line serving BWI International Thurgood Marshall Airport. The airport canceled hundreds of flights on Monday night, according to flightaware.com.
The New York Times reports that two people died due to the catastrophic storms. In Florence, Ala, a 28-year-old man was struck by lightning in a parking lot and was declared dead at the scene. In Anderson, S.C., a 15-year-old boy was killed after a large falling tree hit him.