Hundreds unable to return to Bladensburg homes

BLADENSBURG, Md. – Pepco has restored electricity to almost all of the 45,000 customers who lost power during fast-moving storms Friday.

As of 7:20 a.m. Monday, 83 customers in Prince George’s County and three in Montgomery County remained without electricity.

Winds from the storm reached 64 mph in Bladensburg, Chillum, Mount Rainier and near Catholic University. About an inch of rain fell.

Hundreds of people in the Bladensburg area — where a microburst struck around 8 p.m. Friday — have not been able to return to their homes and apartments after damage from the storms forced them to evacuate. Their homes have been condemned.

The microburst damaged 15 apartment buildings and one house and caused structural damage on Newtown Street. The small, very intense downdraft ripped off roofs and trees and damaged other structures.

Cleanup is now under way. Along Newton Street near 52nd Avenue, roll-back dumpsters are filled with nail-studded sheetrock and boards. Cars crushed by trees litter the area, and bright blue tarps stretch over rooflines.

A police officer says the area resembles the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, without the water.

Those displaced are being sheltered at Bladensburg High School.

Individuals needing information on shelters and assistance can call 301-583-2230 for more information.

Prince George’s County firefighters responded to more than 235 calls in about four hours during and after the storm. Normally, in a 24-hour period, call volume averages 365 calls.

At one point during the storm, the Prince George’s Hospital Center suffered a power outage and was considering relocating some patients.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

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