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Spielman Road near Bakersville Road reopened about 4:45 p.m. after tree knocks wires down

January 27, 2012|By CALEB CALHOUN | caleb.calhoun@herald-mail.com
  • Power lines burst into flame after a tree fell across them Friday afternoon in the 16000 block of Spielman Road. The fire was extinugished when workers cut off electricity.
By Ric Dugan/Staff Photographer

DOWNSVILLE, Md. — Strong winds helped topple a tree Friday in the 16000 block of Speilman Road, blocking the roadway,  downing power lines and causing a fireball.

Spielman Road — Md. 63 — was closed in both directions just past Bakersville Road near Downsville after the tree fell at about 1:10 p.m.

Chief Leonard Heller of the Fairplay Volunteer Fire Department said he believed strong winds took down the tree, which fell on top of telephone, cable and power lines. The lines arced and a fireball erupted.

Electric power was out on the block, Heller said.

Maryland State Highway Administration workers removed the tree, and a Potomac Edison crew worked on repairing the lines.

By about 3:15 p.m., crews had the tree cut into large pieces and removal was progressing, said Charlie Gischlar, an SHA spokesman.

Gischlar, who confirmed that the tree came down due to a combination of high winds and soggy ground, said all debris was removed, and the road was reopened about 4:45 p.m.

The highest wind gust in the Hagerstown area was 42 mph at 11:12 a.m., according to local weather observer Greg Keefer’s website at http://i4weather.net/currentwx.html


Staff Writer C.J. Lovelace contributed to this story.

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