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Trees snap, streams swell

April 17, 2007|by KAREN HANNA

TRI-STATE - High winds snapped trees and caused sporadic power outages across the area Monday as a slow-moving storm made its way toward the Atlantic Ocean.

Allegany Power spokesman David Neurohr said Monday afternoon that crews were working to restore power to the homes of about 4,500 customers in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.

Forecasters said winds likely will subside today.

The National Weather Service's Web site showed the Conococheague Creek at Fairview had crested above flood stage, but predicted the creek's water level would fall sharply today and Wednesday. The site showed the Potomac River at Point of Rocks also would slightly exceed flood stage, but recede today and Wednesday.

Washington County and Frederick County (Md.) Emergency Services dispatchers reported few problems.

Stephen S. Allen, director of Berkeley County (W.Va.) Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, said emergency responders assisted two Berkeley County motorists Monday morning when their vehicles became stranded in high water.

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Baker Heights (W.Va.) Volunteer Fire Department and responders from Allen's office assisted a man driving a pickup truck on Douglas Grove Road sometime after 7 a.m., Allen said. A few hours later, he said, Hedgesville (W.Va.) Volunteer Fire Department and county personnel assisted a woman who became stranded in high water at the west approach to the Back Creek bridge on Allensville Road.

National Weather Service meteorologist Steve Rogowski said wind gusts reached 60 mph.

"When you get the wind gusts over 30, 40, 50 mph, that's when you really see the difficulties with the tree limbs into our lines," Neurohr said.

Allegany Power's Web site showed about 1,500 customers were without power in Frederick County, Md., Monday afternoon. The power also was out for handfuls of customers in Washington County; Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania; and Jefferson, Morgan and Berkeley counties in West Virginia.

According to a Web site maintained by Greg Keefer, a Hagerstown weather observer, 1.87 inches of rain fell Sunday. The site reported no rain Monday.

The Web site shows only four days this month with high temperatures of 55 degrees or warmer. The average high temperature for April is 64 degrees.

"That's what a lot of people have been asking. They're tired of the cold conditions, and they're ready for a warm-up," Rogowski said.

Rogowski and AccuWeather senior meteorologist Kerry Schwindenhammer said temperatures could approach the average by this weekend.

Temperatures could hit 70 degrees this weekend, with highs near 75 degrees Monday, Rogowski said.

According to Keefer's site, the warmest day this month was April 3, when the high temperature was 80 degrees.

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