Storms pull plug for 14, 000 Heavy winds, rain pelt metropolitan area

November 23, 1992|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,Staff Writer Staff writer Joe Nawrozki contributed to this article.

A cold front from Canada and warm air from the Gulf of Mexico clashed over central Maryland last night, bringing up to 2 inches of rain whipped by winds of more than 35 mph.

A tornado watch was declared for the area and much of the Eastern Shore but was lifted at 7:45 a.m., said Fred Davis at the National Weather Service at Baltimore-Washington International Airport. No tornadoes were reported, Mr. Diener said.

Karl Neddenien, a spokesman for the Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., said that the storm knocked out power to at least 14,000 customers but that by 9 a.m., service had been restored to all but about 1,000 homes and residences.

He said the areas hardest hit by outages were parts of Howard County, which had 2,100 without power; Essex in Baltimore County, with 2,300; and Westminster in Carroll County, where 1,000 were left in the dark.

Peggy Mulloy, another BG&E spokeswoman, said service to the remaining customers would be restored later today.

She added that computer tracking showed more than 400 lightning strikes in Maryland's central region. She added that a "couple thousand" were recorded in Maryland and surrounding states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia from 10 p.m. until 6 a.m. today.

In Baltimore, power to about 1,000 customers was disrupted by the storm. By 5 a.m., power had been restored to 750. The remainder, said Mr. Neddenien, were expected to have electricity restored by 7 a.m. Most of the outages occurred between 1 a.m. and 2 a.m., he said.

The majority of the outages were caused by lightning striking feeder lines, transformers and high-tension wires, he said, adding the rain was so heavy at times that crews standing on the ground could not see the tops of the utility poles.

"We had several storm systems converging on the area in a very short period of time from the northwest and the south and it resulted in very heavy activity," said Mr. Diener of the weather service.

It was the gulf air that gave us the near-balmy weather yesterday. It foreshadowed the storms that hit late yesterday and early today.

They brought heavy rains, lots of lightning, near zero visibility at its height, Mr. Diener said.

He said that between 11 p.m. yesterday and 4 a.m. today, nearly two inches of rain fell at several reporting stations throughout the metropolitan area.

Baltimore police and fire departments reported several trees blown down and power lines tangled in trees.

They said that the 2800 block of W. Baltimore St. was reported impassable at 2:40 a.m. and that trees were blown down at Edmondson and Woodside avenues.

Cars were stopped by high water at Franklin Street and Warwick Ave

nue, they said.

Shortly before 4 a.m., several cars were also trapped at Auchentoroly Terrace and McCulloh Street because of high water.

At the Northern District police station, wind gusts blew torrents of water over the curbs and into a courtroom. Officers Police took turns sweeping the rain back outside.

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