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Storm sweeps through area

April 09, 2001

Storm sweeps through area



By JULIE GREENE and KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI


If April showers really do bring May flowers next month should be all abloom after a late thunderstorm drenched the Tri-State area Monday and more rain was expected through Friday.

Monday evening's fast-moving storm dumped about .32 inches of rain on Hagerstown within a three-hour period. Combined with early morning showers, the rainfall total was .81 inches, according to Hagerstown Weather Observer Greg Keefer's Web site.

The storm knocked out power to 1,500 homes in Frederick, Md., at around 9 p.m., said Allegheny Power spokeswoman Sonya Miller. She said power was expected to be restored by noon.

Hagerstown City Light reported scattered and brief outages in the city's North and West ends.

Allegheny Power crews expected to restore power to 500 homes in Waynesboro, Pa., and 75 homes in McConnellsburg, Pa., by midnight Monday to 2 a.m. today, said Miller.

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Dispatchers from Washington County, Pennsylvania and West Virginia reported numerous calls for wires down, utility pole fires and business alarms going off during the storm, which started at around 7 p.m.

A Washington County dispatcher said 36 such calls came in during the peak of the storm from 7:20 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

A tree fell on wires on Jefferson Boulevard, and a utility pole caught fire on Cearfoss Pike, dispatchers said.

Trees were knocked down on Interstate 70 near Clear Spring and on Fairview Road in Cearfoss, according to Maryland State Police in Hagerstown.

Troopers and area firefighters cleared both roads and traffic was only minimally disrupted, state police said.

A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect until midnight Monday in the Tri-State area, said National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Strong.

The storm was moving too fast to cause flooding, Strong said.

While hail was a possibility, the National Weather Service had no reports of hail in the Tri-State area. Strong said winds were expected to be 25 to 45 mph. Local weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site reported a top wind speed of 47 mph in Hagerstown at 7:40 p.m.

Winds were expected to die down today, but more thunderstorms are possible during the next few days, Strong said. Temperatures reached 87 degrees on Monday.

More rain was expected through Friday with partly cloudy skies and highs in the 60s to 70s, meteorologists said.

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