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Area gets hard rain

August 11, 1998

Car in waterBy LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer [enlarge]




Lightning hit the Maryland Theatre and a brief but heavy downpour left one man's car stranded in high water Monday afternoon.

Shortly after 2 p.m., the storm hit Hagerstown and dumped nearly an inch of much-needed rain, according to weather observer Greg Keefer.

It was the first time it rained here this month. The last wet day in the area was on July 31, when half an inch of rain fell, according to Keefer.

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The storm caused no major power outages but was blamed for a number of minor accidents, authorities said.

When lightning struck the Maryland Theatre, the lights went haywire. Some lights went out while others came on after the power surge, said Hagerstown Electrical Inspector Lester McCusker.

McCusker said all the equipment checked out, although lightning problems can arise weeks after a strike.

"When lightning runs something, there's no guarantee. You can't understand lightning. It won't do the same thing twice," McCusker said.

Patrick Reed, 24, of Waynesboro, Pa., was on his way to work at Rex TV and Appliances on Massey Boulevard when his car got stuck on a flooded Memorial Boulevard.

Reed said it was the first time he was on Memorial Boulevard near the railroad underpass that frequently floods.

"I got 2 feet in there by the time I even realized how deep it was," he said.

Reed's engine stalled. He was able to open his car door, but the water came rushing in, he said.

Reed waded to safety in water up to his waist and called a tow truck, he said.

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