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Windy Friday causes power outages at 112,000 homes and businesses in Maryland

February 25, 2011

Winds gusted to nearly 60 mph Friday in Washington County, but it was the Baltimore and Washington, D.C., regions where most of the power outages occurred, a Maryland Emergency Management Agency spokesman said.

MEMA's State Operations Center in Reisterstown was activated Friday to help state agencies and local jurisdictions deal with outages that peaked at about 112,000 homes and businesses, spokesman Edward Hopkins said.

The number of outages had declined to about 85,000 as of 6:15 p.m., he said.

Only a handful of those outages were in the western part of the state, with 199 in Allegheny County and 25 in Washington County, Hopkins said.

The number of customers without power in Frederick County exceeded 650, he said.

There was a significant interruption for travelers on Interstate 81 in Berkeley County, W.Va., where a Comcast service line fell across the highway at 1:47 p.m., a 911 dispatcher said.

Supports for the downed line apparently failed due to windy conditions, Berkeley County Sheriff Kenneth Lemaster Jr. said.

 The line fell near the Holiday Inn in Martinsburg, W.Va., he said.

Traffic in both directions was closed, causing traffic congestion along I-81, U.S. 11 and connecting routes, Lemaster said. The interstate reopened at 3:30 p.m., he said.

Hagerstown weather observer Greg Keefer's website, i4weather.com, recorded a peak gust of 59 mph at 12:52 p.m

 The high temperature for the day of 55 degrees was recorded at 12:38 p.m. and had dropped to 36 degrees by 7:30 p.m.

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