Strong storms sweep through DC area, toppling trees

WASHINGTON — Severe storms swept through the D.C. Friday afternoon, leaving power outages and downed trees in its wake.

A Severe Thunderstorm Watch was in effect for the D.C. area until 9 p.m.

The storms came after brutally hot temperatures over the past few days with numbers reaching the upper 90s. The strong storms, combined with the punishing heat from earlier in the day, are leading to power outages.

Get the latest outages in the map below:

The severe storms caused trees to topple around the region. A tree went down outside Dunn Loring, causing Metro trains to share a single track on the Orange Line between West Falls Church and Vienna stations. The single-tracking impacted trains on the Blue and Silver lines, too.

A tree fell on a home in the 5300 block of 32nd St. in NW D.C. Friday afternoon, causing damage to the residence and two cars, D.C. Fire & EMS tweeted. No one was injured.

The storms also delayed concertgoers from entering Nationals Park Friday night for the James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt show. The Nationals delayed the gates openings, instructing fans to take shelter as the storm passed through.

Saturday forecast

Any showers should end before midnight but there might still be some clouds hanging around Saturday morning. Those clouds should clear up as the day goes on.

While Saturday will still be as hot, it won’t be as oppressive. Highs will be in the upper 80s to low-90s.

Staying safe in hot weather

Any time the heat index is over 100, it can be dangerous to be outside. Experts warn area residents to stay “heat smart”:

  • Limit strenuous outdoor activities
  • Don’t leave kids or pets in a closed car
  • Drink more water
  • Drink less caffeine and alcohol
  • Check on senior friends and neighbors
  • Take frequent breaks
  • Get medical help if you stop sweating
  • Adults should take corrective action, and children should seek help, if they feel nauseous, their face feels like it’s burning or they have muscle cramps
  • Make sure outdoor pets have ample shade and water

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has specific recommendations for the symptoms of heat exhaustion and the even-more-serious heat stroke.

Heat exhaustion

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Cold, pale, clammy skin
  • Heavy sweating
  • Fainting

Under those circumstances, you should move to a cooler location, loosen your clothes, lie down, apply wet, cool cloth to as much of your body as possible and sip water. If you continue to vomit, seek medical help right away.

Heat stroke

  • Body temperature above 103 degrees
  • Hot, red, dry or moist skin
  • Fast and strong pulse
  • Possible unconsciousness

WTOP’s Patrick Roth, Will Vitka and Jack Pointer contributed to this report.

Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

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