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More storms possible after system races through Tri-State area Thursday morning

June 13, 2013|From staff reports

A massive storm system that swept through the Midwest on Wednesday reached the Tri-State area Thursday morning, packing strong winds and heavy rain.

A second round of storms could arrive later in the day, according to forecasters, but the main threat of severe weather was to the south of Washington County.

A severe thunderstorm watch was in effect in eastern West Virginia through 7 p.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Washington County and neighboring counties remained under a flash flood watch through 5 p.m., the NWS said.

The storm system that rolled through the Hagerstown area at about 7:30 a.m. Thursday moved through quickly and did not cause a lot of problems, a Washington County Emergency Services supervisor said shortly after 8 a.m.

The highest wind gust reported in the Hagerstown area was 37 mph at 7:26 a.m., according to the website of local weather observer Greg Keefer at http://i4weather.net.

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Just over six-tenths of an inch of rain fell Thursday morning in the area, according to Keefer’s website.

The only report of damage from the thunderstorm as of 8 a.m. was a tree down on Mansfield Road near Sharpsburg, the emergency services supervisor said.

The downed tree caused no damage and was not blocking traffic, the supervisor said.

No accidents were reported, the supervisor said.

Pennsylvania

Despite the severity of the brief storms Thursday morning, the Franklin County (Pa.) 911 Center reported few weather-related calls.

The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is disseminating information saying Franklin County is at risk for severe thunderstorms and heavy rain throughout the day, according to Meghan O’Brien, assistant director of the Franklin County Department of Emergency Services.

Using AccuWeather forecasts, PEMA estimates rain amounts from 1 to 2 inches, she said.

The National Weather Service put Franklin and Fulton counties under a flood watch until 8 p.m.

Severe thunderstorm warnings were issued throughout the Tri-State area Thursday morning as the front moved through the region at speeds of 50 mph or more. The last of those were lifted at 8:30 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.


Washington County severe weather guidance

 With recent severe weather events across the country, and with the potential threat of severe weather locally over the next 24 hours, Washington County Emergency Management encourages citizens to maintain awareness and use caution when dealing with any hazardous weather conditions.

  • Listen to radio or television for weather reports and emergency information.
  • Maintain adequate food and medical supplies.
  • Avoid working or entering into any dangerous areas unless properly trained and with adequate safety precautions and protective equipment.
  • Avoid travel in low lying areas that are prone to localized flooding if conditions exists.
  • Pay close attention to marked roadways as State and Local resources continue to identify, clear and maintain open roadways.
  • Secure outdoor furniture or loose items as they may become flying debris from high winds.
  • Prior to traveling, develop a communications plan with friends and family.
  • If you can hear thunder and/or see lightning, seek shelter.

Citizens are continually urged to enroll in Washington County’s Citizen Emergency Notification System at www.washco-md.net.

Citizens with specific questions can contact the Division of Emergency Services, Emergency Management personnel at 240-313-4360. Citizens may reference weather related information through the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.ready.gov.  Developing weather conditions can be monitored at www.washco-md.net, link to Local Weather Site.


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