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Rain at last

November 27, 2001

Rain at last



By ANDREW SCHOTZ
andrews@herald-mail.com


Sunday's early-afternoon rainstorm temporarily halted a Tri-State drought and left a Frederick County, Md., neighborhood without power until the early evening.

Hagerstown received 1.3 inches of rain. Until Sunday, just .09 inches had in November, according to weather observer Greg Keefer's Web site. Of that amount, .03 fell Saturday.

The forecast for today is partly cloudy, with a high temperature in the low 60s, said National Weather Service meteorologist Julie Arthur in Sterling, Va.

A cold front is on the way, however, and there is a 40 percent chance of showers Tuesday, she said. There is also a possibility of rain Tuesday night and Wednesday.

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On Thursday, showers and thunderstorms are likely, Arthur said.

About 345 Allegheny Power customers in the Willow Road area, just north of Frederick, lost their electricity Sunday afternoon, spokeswoman Tara Curtis said.

The power went out at 12:30 p.m. and was expected to be restored to almost all customers by 9 p.m., she said Sunday evening. The remaining dozen who were without power were expected to have theirs restored by 10 p.m., she said.

Scattered power outages occurred in Hagerstown and Boonsboro because of the weather. Curtis said no more than 15 people lost electricity at a time.

A vehicle accident involving a power pole in the Frederick area Friday night cut service to about 1,200 customers, Curtis said. Service returned Friday night.

Emergency dispatchers and police reported several vehicle accidents in Washington and Frederick counties Sunday after the rain began, but none was serious.

A Washington County Sheriff's Department dispatcher said accidents during that stretch were due to slippery roads and people failing to drive slowly and safely.

Police in West Virginia handled five or six accidents within a short period Sunday.

In one southern Berkeley County accident, a car went 65 feet over an embankment.

It happened at about 10 a.m. on Gerrardstown Road near Gerrardstown, W.Va. Wet roads likely contributed to the accident, said Deputy Brad Dusek of the Berkeley County Sheriff's Department.

The driver, 40-year-old Bonnie Garrett, was still in the cab of the 1991 Ford Ranger when Dusek found her.

Garrett was confused and could not remember what happened, he said.

A rescue crew from Back Creek Valley Volunteer Fire Co. used special equipment to remove her, Dusek said.

Garrett was taken to Winchester (Va.) Medical Center, where she was treated and released.

The cause of the accident was still under investigation, Dusek said.

Rain Saturday and Sunday was the primary factor in a number of accidents in Franklin County, said Cpl. William Mowrey with the Pennsylvania State Police in Chambersburg, Pa.

"With the rain, we had a heck of a lot of accidents," he said.

There were no fatalities and most accidents were minor.

"We just had a handful with injuries," he said.

Mowrey said he was not aware of any road closures due to accidents, and traffic was heavier than usual over the four-day holiday weekend.

One of Sunday's accidents occurred on rain-slick New Franklin Road in Guilford Township, Pa., at about 12:35 p.m., police said.

The driver, David Allen Walker of Greencastle, Pa., was wearing a seat belt and was not seriously hurt, according to Trooper Angel L. Garcia.

Walker was driving a 1988 Chevrolet Celebrity east when his car went off the road one mile west of Pa. 316, Garcia said. The car went into a berm and the front end struck a tree.

Sunday's rain was the first significant precipitation in a while for several parts of the Tri-State.

Weather observer Jim Vaughn measured 1.09 inches in Smithsburg. He said it was the first time in 156 days that at least an inch of rain had fallen in a 24-hour period.

Clear Spring had 1.13 inches of rain, ending 51 consecutive days without measurable precipitation, said weather observer Pat McCusker.

In Emmitsburg, Md., 1.45 inches of rain fell, said weather observer Lucille Beale. It had been exactly two months since at least an inch of rain fell in one day, she said.

Weather observer Todd Toth reported .85 inches in Waynesboro, Pa.

The National Weather Service recorded .69 inches in Martinsburg, W.Va., said meteorologist Parks Camp.

Before Sunday, the last precipitation in Martinsburg above a hundredth of an inch came Nov. 3, according to Arthur.

- Staff writers Dave McMillion and Stacey Danzuso contributed to this story.

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