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Despite rain, area still in D2 drought condition

Area could see more rain Friday, next week

August 12, 2010|By DAVE McMILLION

The 1.42 inches of rain that fell Thursday in Hagerstown is a "vast improvement" for the dry conditions, but the area remains in a D2 drought condition, which is considered severe, according to a National Weather Service spokesman.

The area needs about 3 to 5 inches of rain to return to normal conditions, Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., said Thursday.

In addition to rain that could continue into Friday, Jackson said the area could see more precipitation next week when a low frontal system is expected to move in.

Thursday's rain began in the morning when a line of thunderstorms swept through the Tri-State area, leaving thousands of residents without power and keeping emergency crews busy.

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In Berkeley County, W.Va., southbound Interstate 81 was closed for about three hours after an accident involving two tractor-trailer rigs and a passenger vehicle near mile marker 22 in the Marlowe area, a dispatcher said. The accident occurred at about 5 a.m. she said.

By 7:45 a.m., traffic on southbound I-81 was backed up into Maryland as far as the U.S. 11 exit in Williamsport. A Berkeley County dispatcher said the interstate reopened at about 8 a.m.

A Washington County Emergency Services dispatcher reported that traffic signals in the Halfway area were knocked out due to the storm. The dispatcher said there were reports of motorists whose vehicles stalled in standing water.

At 8:59 p.m. Thursday night, one Allegheny Energy customer was without power in Washington County. There were 27 customers in Berkeley County without power, and nine were without power in Jefferson County, W.Va., according to the power company.

Staff writer Don Aines contributed to this story.

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