Rain, wind knock out power to 36,000 homes, topple trees

Gusts from 'Son of Floyd' reach more than 60 mph

October 01, 1999|By Tim Craig | Tim Craig,SUN STAFF

Hard rain accompanied by winds gusting to more than 60 mph blew across Maryland early yesterday, tearing shingles from roofs, uprooting hundreds of trees and interrupting power to 36,000 homes, according to the National Weather Service office in Sterling, Va.

The brunt of the storm, which dropped a little more than an inch of rain, struck between midnight and 2 a.m. and hit neighborhoods throughout the metropolitan area. By 5 p.m. yesterday, power had been restored by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. crews to all affected customers. More than half were in Baltimore and Baltimore County, according to a BGE spokesman.

"It was sort of like the Son of Floyd," said BGE's Mike Delaney, referring to the hurricane that struck Maryland on Sept. 16.

Gusty winds combined with water-saturated ground resulted in trees crashing onto power lines and poles, causing the outages, Delaney said.

Downed trees kept crews from the Baltimore Department of Public Works busy yesterday. Spokesman Kurt L. Kocher said workers removed more than 60 trees and fallen limbs from city streets.

"We are approaching 12 inches of rain for September, and that is incredible," Kocher said. "When you have saturated ground, hillsides are going to slide, and trees are going to topple."

Baltimore-Washington International Airport reported a peak wind gust of 45 mph shortly after 1 a.m., according to the weather service.

In Westminster, gusts were recorded at nearly 65 mph about 12: 45 a.m. yesterday. About that time in nearby Taneytown, a dozen large trees in a row were uprooted by fierce winds.

The storm moved in a straight line. No tornadoes were reported.

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