Windy weather knocks out power for thousands of BGE customers

February 25, 2011|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Residents in the Baltimore region should secure their outdoor furniture, find their stash of flashlights and brace for strong wind gusts of possibly more than 50 mph Friday.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory in the area from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with winds west and northwest from 30 mph and gusts of 45 to 50 mph expected. Areas affected include Baltimore and surrounding counties, Frederick and Washington counties, and Washington, D.C., and surrounding suburbs.

By Friday afternoon, more than 50,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. customers in the area were without power. At the Dundalk Marine Terminal, a Coast Guard spokesman confirmed that a ship broke free.

In the city, officers were called to areas where roofs were blown off homes on Falls Road, and to Federal Street, where a building collapsed.

In Baltimore County, the Fire Department was called after downed wires fell on a car in the 1100 block of Malvern Ave., in Towson, temporarily closing it to traffic.

Last weekend, wind gusts reaching up to more than 60 mph in some parts of the state fueled numerous brush fires, including one in Anne Arundel County that called more than 100 firefighters and burned for hours, and another blaze closed down a section of Interstate 95 near the Capital Beltway. Several thousand BGE customers lost power, while other residents lost water service.

Forecasters expected showers to continue into the afternoon,with between a tenth and quarter of an inch of rain possible.

Temperatures were expected to remain cool, with a low of 32.

The rest of the weekend is supposed to warm up, with Saturday's forecast calling for partly sunny skies, a high near 45, a low around 34 and calmer winds between 3 and 6 mph.

Sunday's high is expected to reach 53. A 40 percent chance of rain is expected.

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