Severe thunderstorms that brought damaging winds and heavy rain knocked out electricity to at least 24,000 customers in Anne Arundel, Howard, Prince George's and Montgomery counties yesterday evening.
The storms also forced road closings in Howard and disrupted phone service, authorities said.
"Right now, it looks like it's straight-line wind damage and probably not a tornado," said Dewey Walston, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.
By 10 p.m., about 21,400 customers remained without power, said Rose Maria Kendig, a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. spokeswoman. That number included 9,900 in Howard, 9,800 in Anne Arundel, 1,600 in Prince George's and 132 in Montgomery.
About 1,900 Potomac Electric Power Co. customers still were without power about 8 p.m. in Montgomery and Prince George's counties and Washington. Kendig said service should be restored to all customers by this morning.
In southern Howard County, all four lanes of Route 1 at Freestate Road were closed from about 5 p.m. until about 9:30 p.m. when BGE managed to clear the roadway, county police reported. Gorman Road, between Interstate 95 and Route 1, was shut down about 5 p.m. and had not reopened by 10 p.m.