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Storm cuts power in Smithsburg

May 15, 2002|BY MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

SMITHSBURG - While an early Tuesday evening storm wiped out electrical power to much of the town, the Smithsburg election process went on without a hitch.

"Everything should be OK ... we use paper ballots, pencils and all the counting is done by hand," said outgoing Mayor Tommy Bowers from his home.

The storm hit about 6:20 p.m. The polls remained open until 8 p.m.

Town Clerk Betsy Martin said the Smithsburg Fire Co. brought a generator to Town Hall to provide lights for the townspeople who were voting and later for the election workers counting ballots.

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Although brief, the storm did manage to bring down several trees, including one on East Water Street in Smithsburg. Wires of all sorts were reported to have been pulled down with the trees, emergency personnel said.

Antietam Cable and Verizon crews were busy restoring service to their customers.

Allegheny Energy spokesman Scott Shields said nearly 1,000 customers in the Smithsburg area lost their electric service Tuesday evening.

Another 650 customers were affected in Cumberland, 100 in Frederick, 119 in the Mt. Airy area and a few in Funkstown, he said.

"The outages were very scattered so it will take awhile for all to be restored," Shields said, noting that 2,300 customers had been restored by 9 p.m. throughout the company's service area.

Shields said Allegheny crews would be out until all customers were restored.

Fire police were called in to direct traffic after signal lights went dark at Md. 64 and 66.

Elsewhere, a tree was reported down in Hagerstown on Antietam Street near Walnut Street around 6:15 p.m. That incident and several others involving downed trees and wires were quickly cleaned up.

According to the National Weather Service, a storm front crossed over the eastern portion of Washington County early Tuesday evening bringing high winds but very little rain.

In Hagerstown, only .02 inches of rain was recorded by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer on his Web site.

Showers were expected through the night Tuesday but sunshine is forecast for today and most of Thursday with temperatures in the low to mid-70s.

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