Garrett storm knocks out power

July 31, 2008|By Brent Jones and Richard Irwin | Brent Jones and Richard Irwin,Sun reporters

A storm packing heavy winds and rain struck two Western Maryland communities yesterday evening, causing an undetermined number of power outages and downed trees, state police in Garrett County said.

At least 15 houses in Accident and Friendsville, in the northwestern part of the county, were damaged, but no injuries were reported, police said.

The National Weather Service in Pittsburgh said officials would survey the area today to determine whether a tornado touched down.

Meteorologist Rich Cain said he had received reports of funnel cloud sightings in Preston County, W.Va.

"We had a pretty good thunderstorm that did show rotation," Cain said.

Sgt. James Hare, a duty officer at the state police McHenry barracks in Garrett County, said the storm struck about 6:10 p.m. and that residents of the towns apparently had warnings from radio and TV stations that a tornado might have touched down in the area.

"No tornado was verified," said Hare, adding that a funnel cloud was apparently sighted about five miles from the barracks.

He said authorities were to inspect the areas surrounding Accident and Friendsville for any signs of a tornado.

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