A severe storm packing wind gusts up to 65 mph, heavy rain and quarter-sized hail pounded much of Maryland yesterday evening.
Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. reported that roughly 5,000 customers, about half of them in Baltimore County, lost power during the storm. Potomac Electric Power Co. reported nearly 3,000 outages in its Washington service area.
Forecasters at the National Weather Service issued a tornado watch yesterday afternoon for Baltimore and its surrounding counties. A series of severe thunderstorm warnings also were issued during the early evening as the storm front swept across the state. The watches remained in effect until midnight, but a wind advisory was to remain in effect until 4 this morning.
Snow was a possibility for parts of Western Maryland.
The region badly needed the rain. Last month was the driest March on record for Baltimore, with 0.18 inches of precipitation.
The storm hindered repairs to a water main break in the 8800 block of Hinton Ave. in Baltimore County's Millers Island area, which left 300 customers without water last night, said Kurt Kocher, a spokesman for the city's Department of Public Works.
It was unknown how the 8-inch main ruptured, but the weather "slowed down the work" to repair it, Kocher said.
Sun reporter Nicole Fuller contributed to this article.