A series of severe afternoon and evening thunderstorms caused flooding, wind damage, lightning strikes and power outages across Maryland yesterday.
In Harford County, a lightning strike at 4:30 p.m. at a Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. substation near Churchville caused about 7,200 customers to lose power, said Clay Perry, a BGE spokesman. Power was restored to all but about 50 households by 11:30 p.m.
In Prince George's County, lightning strikes touched off house fires in Hyattsville, Bowie and Brandywine, said fire Capt. Chauncey Bowers. An apartment building in District Heights also caught fire, he said.
An unidentified driver had to be rescued after his car became stranded in floodwaters near Suitland Parkway and Forestville Road, Bowers said.
Although tornado warnings had been issued in several areas, including parts of Charles and St. Mary's counties, no twisters were reported, according to Calvin Meadows, a hydro-meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.
"We called around to see what sort of damage was being reported but most of the stuff we got was flooding," he said.
Rising waters were reported in Anne Arundel, Prince George's, St. Mary's and Charles counties, he said.
Although precise rainfall amounts were not known late last night, Meadows said that many areas reported "an excess of 1 inch of rain per hour."
Strong winds also were reported, knocking down trees in northern Baltimore County and whipping at 59 mph through LaPlata - the scene of a devastating tornado in 2002.
Today's forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of rain.