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Storms cut off power

July 19, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

WASHINGTON COUNTY

More than 5,100 Allegheny Power customers in Hagerstown and Washington County lost service Tuesday evening after thunderstorms passed through the area, a company spokesman said.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department received numerous reports of downed trees and traffic lights without power, Lt. Travers Ruppert said.

At Fountainhead Road and Pennsylvania Avenue, a traffic light fell on a car, Ruppert said.

The sheriff's department had officers controlling traffic at "key intersections," he said.

Boonsboro and Clear Spring also were affected, but Allegheny Power spokesman Allen Staggers said "a lot of Hagerstown addresses" lost power.

Along the Dual Highway, about 1,000 customers were without power Tuesday night, he said. At the intersection of Eastern Boulevard and Dual Highway, police used flares to direct traffic.

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Staggers said crews were working to make repairs in Maugansville, where about 1,300 customers were in the dark.

The Maugansville Goodwill Volunteer Fire Company ran about 20 calls Tuesday night, responding to downed wires, telephone poles and trees. The fire company also had to patch up a damaged church roof so it didn't leak, said William Garrett, deputy chief. Normally, they run two to three calls a night, he said.

In areas where crews started repairs Tuesday night, Staggers said that customers could expect power back later that night. Other customers might have to wait until sometime today, Staggers said.

When the storms passed through, high winds and lightning knocked down trees, which broke wires and equipment, and caused the outages, Staggers said. Crews would be working on repairs around the clock, Staggers said.

The weather forecast calls for the possibility of thunderstorms through Saturday.

Allegheny Power serves more than 48,000 customers in Washington County and Hagerstown.

Allegheny Power customers in Martinsburg, W.Va., and Chambersburg, Pa., also had significant outages. The company was considering moving additional crews into the area to help repair damage, Staggers said.

Officials with the City of Hagerstown Light Department could not be reached.

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