Thousands left in the dark after fast, fierce storms pound region

WASHINGTON — The region has begun cleaning up after a series of powerful storms swept through the area Tuesday dropping golf-ball sized hail in some areas and leading to a tornado that tore through Howard County for 20 minutes.

The heavy, sudden torrent of rain that washed throughout the region led to flash flooding. Rain water cascaded into a D.C. Metro station filling a pedestrian tunnel below Connecticut Avenue.

The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Howard and Anne Arundel counties about 1:30 p.m. as the intense rain began to pummel northern areas of the state including Baltimore.

Intense rain continued to pound the region through evening, and the last storm broke up over Loudoun County about 11 p.m. The storms left downed trees, flooded streets and debris in their wake.

About an inch of rain was officially recorded at Dulles International and Reagan National airports but BWI Marshall Airport recorded 1.7 inches officially with wind gusts up to 62 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service.

Thousands of electric customers were also left without power and crews around the region were still working to restore service to residents Wednesday. Numerous schools in Howard County were closed Wednesday due to the power outage. However school programs, including summer school, were expected to open as usual on Thursday.

Pepco said that as many as 16,000 of its customers lost power on Tuesday. More than 15,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric customers and more than 2,000 Dominion Virginia Power customers were in the dark at one point Tuesday evening.

Power outage numbers as of 6 p.m. Wednesday:

Baltimore Gas and Electric reports about 1,600 customers were without power, mostly in Howard County.

Dominion Virginia Power reports that about 300 Northern Virginia customers were in the dark.

Both utilities expect to restore service to the remaining customers by the end of the day.

Power customers who need the phone number for their utility provider can text the word “POWER” to 91035 and WTOP will text the number back.

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