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Fast-moving storm sweeps through area

June 15, 2004|By BRIAN SHAPPELL

Although rain from a fast-moving, powerful storm briefly pounded Washington County Monday, Frederick County, Md., was harder hit.

In Frederick County, a child was swept away by high water and there were reports of what appeared to be a small tornado.

According to the I4 Weather Web site, managed by Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer, 1.59 inches of rain fell in Hagerstown Monday between 4 and 6 p.m. Most of the precipitation, 1.27 inches, fell during a heavy downpour that started just after 5 p.m.

Winds did not top 21 mph during those hours, according to the site.

Allegheny Energy Spokesman Guy Fletcher said about 600 customers east of Williamsport were without power for a short time late Monday afternoon. Within a few hours, power was restored to those customers, he said. No other large pockets of outages were reported in Washington County as of 9 p.m.

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Fletcher said there were few problems in Franklin County, Pa., and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. He said there were a total of about 50 outages between two areas.

Fletcher said northern Frederick County, especially Thurmont, Md., was hit much harder.

A Frederick County 911 Center dispatcher said a 7-year-old child was swept away by floodwaters near Owens Creek in the Thurmont area.

The child, who was rescued half a mile away by a Frederick County Sheriff's Deputy, was taken to Washington County Hospital, the dispatcher said.

The child's condition was not released Monday.

The dispatcher said a small tornado was reported in Thurmont, and a tornado warning was issued for much of northern Frederick County.

Hagerstown Police Department Sgt. David Long said there were several reports of minor flooding on Hagerstown streets and major flooding at the overpass on Maryland Avenue and on West Memorial Boulevard.

On Memorial Boulevard, a passenger car was stranded in about 4 feet of water.

Long said the storm did not cause any major incidents inside the city.

"Motorists just had to reroute where they were going," Long said. "It was just an inconvenience."

Maryland State Police 1st Sgt. James Meyers of the Hagerstown barrack said most flooding problems and resulting minor accidents in Washington County were reported in the northeastern portion of the county. Meyers said portions of Md. 66, Md. 62 and U.S. 40 were shut down because of high water.

Washington County Sheriff's Department Cpl. Christopher Howard said the only reports of flooding conditions in its territory came from the Mount Aetna area.

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