Storm effect lingers in counties

August 28, 2007|By Julie Scharper | Julie Scharper,Sun reporter

Bill Emge was standing at the door of his small produce store in Lansdowne on Saturday night, preparing to dash through the rain to his van, when he heard a loud crack of thunder.

Then he heard a crunch. A large elm tree had been struck by lightning and fell, crushing a corner of the store roof and blocking traffic on Hammonds Ferry Lane.

"It sounded like a cannon going off," Emge said, standing in a rain-soaked corner of the small store yesterday. County workers removed the portion of the tree that was in the road Saturday night, and a friend of Emge's hacked away at the rest of the elm yesterday.

Emge was not the only area resident still dealing with the storm's aftermath yesterday. About 1,500 homes and businesses in Anne Arundel and Baltimore counties that lost power Saturday night were still without power yesterday morning, although nearly all the problems had been fixed by the afternoon, according to BGE spokeswoman Linda Foy.

More than 74,000 customers experienced outages throughout the course of Saturday's storm, she said. Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties were hit hardest, with nearly 14,000 customers without power in Anne Arundel and more than 5,000 without power in Baltimore County about 10 p.m. Saturday.

Lansdowne resident Tamara Dunham said that her family was without power for 22 hours after the storm. Her husband borrowed a generator from a friend to provide power for their home as well as for a neighbor who uses an oxygen tank, she said.

Emge spent yesterday cleaning up his store, a small greenhouse where residents come for fresh tomatoes, watermelon, and, on weekends when the watermen arrive, crabs. His merchandise and equipment escaped the storm mostly unscathed, he said.

In the part of the building where the tree fell, several tiles in the drop ceiling had fallen and the carpeting was soggy with rain. None of the used books or housewares - which included a small television and fireplace set - had been damaged by the water, he said.

Peter Panselinos, who owns the adjacent Lansdowne Inn, as well as the property where the produce store sits, said that he still did not know how much it would cost to repair the damage to the store or how long repairs would take, but that he expected the store to reopen soon.

julie.scharper@baltsun.com

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