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Tri-State escapes heavy damage from Friday's storms

June 01, 2012|By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com

Friday storms that brought heavy winds and dropped roughly an inch of rain didn’t do much damage in the Tri-State area, according to emergency dispatchers from Washington County and surrounding areas.

The heaviest damage appeared to be in the east end of Frederick County, Md., where three tornado warnings were called at 3, 6 and 9 p.m., said Chip Jewell, director of Frederick County Emergency Communications.

“I think all of them were Doppler-reported on radar,” Jewell said.

But he said Frederick County had no reports of tornadoes touching down.

Dispatchers in Washington County, Franklin and Fulton counties in Pennsylvania, and Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan counties in West Virginia, all reported some downed trees and wires, but no serious damage.

A lightning strike on a house on Sentry Ridge in Smithsburg also caused little damage, a Washington County Emergency Services dispatcher said.

The Smithsburg Community Volunteer Fire Co. could not be reached Friday night to comment on the incident. 

Meanwhile, officials at the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., said they were too busy to give updates at about  9 p.m. Friday.

Washington County and all neighboring counties in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia were under a tornado watch that was in effect until 9 p.m., the weather service said Friday afternoon.

The weather service forecast for Hagerstown called for showers and a chance of thunderstorms into Friday evening. Some storms were expected to be severe, with gusty winds and heavy rain.

The website I4weather.net, operated by local weather observer Greg Keefer, reported that .99 of an inch of rain accumulated in Hagerstown, and winds gusted as high as 35 mph.

Today’s weather forecast calls for sunny skies, with temperatures reaching the low- to-mid 70s.

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