Cleanup, power work continue after storm sweeps through area

WASHINGTON — A day after hail and heavy rain pummeled the area, residents are cleaning up debris, estimating the damage to houses, cars and businesses, and in thousands of cases waiting for the power to come back on.

The Middleburg, Virginia area in Loudoun County was among the hardest-hit areas, with houses and cars damaged by golf-ball sized hail. At one point there were so many tree leaves, limbs and branches down on the roads that you couldn’t see the pavement, WTOP’s Nick Iannelli reports.

Lisa Johnson was working at a Middleburg gas station when the storm hit, and says that she and others thought the hail would come through the roof. “In 47 years I’ve never seen a hailstorm that bad,” she said. “It did quite a bit of damage to this little town. I’ve never seen this before, and [I] hope to God I never do again.”

Zan Dial said he was working in his restaurant when “All hell broke loose. Next thing I know, there’s glass flying everywhere, water damage everywhere.” The only thing he could do, he said, was “make sure everybody’s safe.”

At the worst, about 32,000 customers in the D.C. area were without power. On Friday morning, crews are still working to counter the damage of the storm, but thousands are still without electricity (all numbers as of 4:30 p.m. Friday):

Dominion Virginia Power is reporting 1,354 outages in northern Virginia; the majority of them were in Fauquier County, where there were 511 outages.

The Rappahannock Electric Cooperative is reporting that roughly 1,600 customers are without power.

Potomac Edison is reporting about fewer than 40 outages in Maryland — 27 of which are in Washington County and about 10 were in Montgomery and Frederick counties; and nine outages were reported in the West Virginia panhandle.

Damage and outages are even more severe in the Richmond area: More than 135,000 Dominion Virginia customers are without power in central Virginia, including about 21,000 in Richmond.

The power outages and storm damage is so severe that public schools were closed in Richmond, Henrico and New Kent counties.

If you need the phone number for your power company, text the word “POWER” to 91035 and WTOP will text the number back to you.

WTOP’s Tiffany Arnold and Nick Iannelli contributed to this report.

Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

Rick Massimo

Rick Massimo came to WTOP, and to Washington, in 2013 after having lived in Providence, R.I., since he was a child. He's the author of "A Walking Tour of the Georgetown Set" and "I Got a Song: A History of the Newport Folk Festival."

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