Power outages, downed trees as storms blitz DC region

(Video courtesy Twitter/conweather)

A hot, humid Tuesday ended with severe thunderstorms that downed trees, caused damage and left D.C. area residents without power.

Downed trees and branches have been reported throughout D.C., Maryland and Virginia, as strong winds, heavy rain and thunder and lightning bombarded the area Tuesday afternoon.

The National Weather Service warned about slick roads, downed trees and power outages, as well as unsecured light objects that could become projectiles.

Due to continuing severe weather, the Washington Nationals said that Tuesday’s game has been postponed to be played Wednesday as part of a split doubleheader.

Damages reported throughout the D.C. area

In Leesburg, wind gusts clocked at 62 mph at 5:15 p.m., Storm Team4 meteorologist Mike Stinneford said. In Maryland, storm damage included downed and snapped trees, as well as quarter-sized hail in Harford, Carroll and Frederick counties. Downed trees and branches have also been reported in Montgomery County in Maryland and in Loudoun County in Virginia.

One of the places that saw heavy damage was in Olney, Maryland. Resident Bill Jones has lived on Morningwood Drive for 20 years. He said that when the storm hit, he went down to the basement for a couple of minutes. When he came back up, he saw a large sycamore tree in the backyard had been “stripped to the point of a telephone pole.”

And it’s not just trees near his house. Jones said trees around the neighborhood were also felled, including one that fell on top of a car.

“It was a real fast developing system and did a lot of damage,” Jones said.

Assessing the neighborhood near Gelding Lane and Queen Elizabeth Drive in Olney, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said storm damage included a crushed deck and a number of trees whose trunks have been twisted off from the top.

During the storm, the county’s Emergency Communications Center went on condition Red because of the high volume of calls.

Some displaced residents are being assisted by the Red Cross, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service Chief Scott Goldstein said.

The storm took a toll on the College Park campus of the University of Maryland. Spokeswoman Katie Lawson reports that downed trees are blocking some campus roads. Power is out on the campus. And teams are currently assessing other impacts from the storm.

In Prince George’s County, Maryland, Fire/EMS spokesperson Veronica Marshall said they have received more than 330 calls, in places that saw damages, including in College Park and Berwyn Heights. One person has been taken to the hospital as a result of injuries from the storm.

D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Vito Maggiolo said most of the calls for help have been related to power lines and downed trees.

“We’ve had a couple of instances where trees came down on top of vehicles. In one case the vehicle was occupied. However, the folks inside the vehicle were able to self extricate and they were not injured. We had one apparent lightning strike over in the Anacostia section that affected the boiler of the home, but no fire or smoke,” Maggiolo said.

His advice during storms is to say inside and shelter accordingly.

“Power lines, consider any wire that you see down in the street, consider them live. Do not approach them. Do not drive over them,” Maggiolo said. And as for standing water, “Don’t drive into any standing water. It’s often much deeper or more powerful than it may appear.”

The Federal Aviation Administration reported grounded flights at Reagan National, BWI Marshall and Dulles International airports. FlightAware showed 544 flight cancellations across the two airports as of 8 p.m. with delays of anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour.

Stinneford said the storm that made its way to the area had weakened slightly from a “destructive” storm — the highest level the weather service puts out — earlier in the Shenandoah Valley, including the city of Winchester. That storm included winds of about 90 mph and tennis ball-sized hail.

And when the severe storms subside, he said, the flooding threat will remain, given all the rain that’s fallen on the D.C. area in the past week or so.

A house is damaged after strong storms in the D.C. area.

Storms subside over Montgomery County, Maryland, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

Storm clouds form over Fairfax, Virginia, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

A gust approaches the WTOP studios on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.

Storm clouds form over Herndon, Virginia. (Courtesy Ben Cleveland)

Storm clouds form over Loudoun County, Virginia. (Courtesy Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office)

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Forecast

Storm Team4 meteorologist Lauryn Ricketts said it will be a calmer forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, with temperatures in the upper 80s. Scattered showers and thunderstorms will return by Friday and might last through the weekend.

TUESDAY NIGHT: Storms continue before clearing. Warm, muggy. Lows in the upper 60s to mid-70s.

WEDNESDAY: Partly sunny with clouds and lower humidity. Chance of an afternoon storm, mainly south. Highs in the mid-80s to low 90s.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny and not too humid, with an isolated shower possible. Highs in the mid- to upper 80s.

FRIDAY: Partly cloudy with an isolated shower or storm. Highs in the low to mid-80s.

Current weather

Outages

WTOP’s Abigail Constantino, Matt Small, Rick Massimo and Ivy Lyons contributed to this report.

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Destruction is seen in Olney, Maryland, after storms on July 12, 2022. (NBC Washington/Brad Freitas)

Destruction is seen in Olney, Maryland, after storms on July 12, 2022. (NBC Washington/Brad Freitas)

Destruction is seen in Olney, Maryland, after storms on July 12, 2022. (NBC Washington/Brad Freitas)

Destruction is seen in Olney, Maryland, after storms on July 12, 2022. (NBC Washington/Brad Freitas)

A house in College Park sustained a tremendous amount of damage after storms on July 12, 2022. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

Tree companies will be busy in College Park as residents clean up the damage from a storm on July 12. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

Damage like this is being seen across the D.C. area after a powerful storm on July 12. This is a tree down in College Park. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

A downed tree is seen in College Park a day after a powerful storm. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)

Lightning rips through a storm sky over D.C.’s Washington Monument on July 12, 2022. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

The July 12 storms seen over Reston Town Center in Virginia. (Courtesy Susan Van Devanter Infeld)

The July 12 storm seen over Reston Town Center in Virginia. (Courtesy Susan Van Devanter Infeld)

Lightning strikes during the July 12 storms throughout the D.C. region. (Courtesy Josh Abrams)

A tree falls on a house in Olney, Maryland, following a severe thunderstorm on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (Courtesy Bill Jones)

Storm damage from College Park.

Storm damage in College Park.

A rainbow forms after a storm in the D.C. area on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (WTOP/Sae Robinson)

Firefighters chop up a fallen tree on Jones Beach Road and Beach Drive. (WTOP/Megan Cloherty)

A tree falls on a house in Olney, Maryland, after a strong storm on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (Courtesy Tim Pruss)

Strong thunderstorms cause downed trees in Olney, Maryland, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. (Courtesy Tim Pruss)

The sun sets over Montgomery County, Maryland, after severe thunderstorms on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
(WTOP/Abigail Constantino)

<p>Storms subside over Montgomery County, Maryland, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.</p>
(WTOP/Kate Ryan)

<p>Ominous clouds approach Chevy Chase, Maryland, on Tuesday.</p>

<p>The front rolls in over Catharpin, Virginia, on Tuesday.</p>

<p>The front rolls in over Catharpin, Virginia, on Tuesday.</p>
(Courtesy John Robson)

<p>Dark clouds moved in over Nationals Park on Tuesday ahead of the Nats game against Seattle.</p>
(WTOP/Dave Preston)

<p>Small hail fell in downtown Bethesda Tuesday afternoon.</p>

<p>Storm clouds form over Herndon, Virginia.</p>
(Courtesy Ben Cleveland)

<p>Storm clouds form over Fairfax, Virginia, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.</p>
(Courtesy Rick Horten)

(1/28)
The sun sets over Montgomery County, Maryland, after severe thunderstorms on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.
<p>Storms subside over Montgomery County, Maryland, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.</p>
<p>Ominous clouds approach Chevy Chase, Maryland, on Tuesday.</p>
<p>The front rolls in over Catharpin, Virginia, on Tuesday.</p>
<p>The front rolls in over Catharpin, Virginia, on Tuesday.</p>
<p>Dark clouds moved in over Nationals Park on Tuesday ahead of the Nats game against Seattle.</p>
<p>Small hail fell in downtown Bethesda Tuesday afternoon.</p>
<p>Storm clouds form over Herndon, Virginia.</p>
<p>Storm clouds form over Fairfax, Virginia, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022.</p>

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