Storm speeds across Md., cuts power to 95,000

July 22, 1998|By Laura Sullivan | Laura Sullivan,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

An article in yesterday's Maryland section incorrectly reported the amount of power used in the Baltimore region on Tuesday. Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. said the usage was 6,016 megawatts, a summer record but lower than the all-time high.

The Sun regrets the error.

A fast-moving storm whipped through portions of Maryland yesterday evening, cutting power to more than 95,000 people in Montgomery and southern Prince George's counties.

The heavy winds from the largely dry storm also left 9,800 without power in southern Anne Arundel and northern Prince George's counties, Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. officials said.

FOR THE RECORD - CORRECTION

BGE spokeswoman Kathleen Nolan said 5,000 customers were without power at midnight, and all service was expected to be restored by 4 a.m.

The National Weather Service reported wind gusts between 50 and 80 mph with possible funnel clouds near Shady Grove in Montgomery. Service officials said they would be in the area today to survey damage and try to confirm whether a tornado touched down.

No damage to businesses or homes in any part of the state was reported, but Potomac Edison Power Co. officials said they called in extra emergency crews to work to restore power in the Washington area, where residents called in more than 123 reports of fallen power lines. By 11: 30 p.m., service was restored to 10,000 homes.

State police in Bel Air, which caught the tail end of the storm as it moved out to sea, called it a "typical summer thunderstorm."

The storm began in Western Maryland and, moving at 40 mph, passed through the state in less than two hours, dropping a quarter-inch of rain, said Chris Strong, a weather service meteorologist.

The storm largely avoided the Baltimore region, where thousands of people seeking relief from a high of 97 degrees turned on their air conditioners and used 6,038 megawatts of power, breaking BGE's record for usage on a summer day, said Nolan.

The previous record was 5,980 megawatts used July 16 last year.

Yesterday's heat also brought unhealthy levels of ozone, or smog, to the area and similar conditions were expected today, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Pub Date: 7/22/98

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