No confirmed tornadoes during fast-moving storm through region

September 08, 2012|By DON AINES |
  • Darryl Sensenbaugh steps over the litter made by a tree that blew across his South Edgewood Drive driveway Saturday. A violent storm brought wind and rain to the Hagerstown vicinity Saturday afternoon.
By Kevin G. Gilbert/Staff Photographer

There were several calls to Washington County emergency communications of possible funnel-cloud sightings when a line of fast-moving storms moved through the county Saturday, but none were confirmed as tornadoes as of Saturday night by the National Weather Service.

The center received about five calls about funnel-cloud sightings Saturday afternoon, a 911 dispatcher said Saturday night. Howard Silverman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va., said none were confirmed within its region, which includes much of Maryland, West Virginia and Virginia.

As of Saturday night, it had not been determined whether any crews would be sent out today to determine whether there was a tornado, Silverman said.

Also as of Saturday night, there were 153 Potomac Edison customers without power, 99 of them in the Smithsburg area, spokeswoman Charlene Gilliam said. Crews would be working through the night, she said, although the estimated time to restore service to all customers was today at noon.

Gilliam said she did not have figures on how many customers in the county had lost power immediately after the storm.

The 911 center got about 15 to 20 reports of trees down and trees on wires, along with scattered reports of damage, including to a barn roof on Jefferson Boulevard, the dispatcher said. Many of the calls came from the Smithsburg and Cascade areas, he said.

Local weather observer Greg Keefer’s website,, recorded a a wind gust of 47 mph at 12:46 p.m. in Hagerstown. Rainfall was 0.69 inches, according to the website.

“It wasn’t a tight rotation on our radar when it got to the Pennsylvania border,” said meteorologist Barry Lambert of the National Weather Service in State College, Pa. That does not exclude the possibility of some weak cyclones in the path of the storm, he said.

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