Thousands without power in DC area following strong thunderstorms

Thunderstorms spread through the D.C. region Friday night, leading to downed trees, power outages and a water rescue. The weekend looks to be a repeat of the last couple of days with heat, humidity and storms. Here’s what you need to know.

Thousands are without power across D.C., Maryland and Virginia as strong storms swept through during the afternoon and evening, with torrential downpours frequent lightning and wind gust of up to 60 mph in some areas.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings and watches earlier, which have all expired.

There was flooding along historically vulnerable roadways, streams and low-lying urban areas, some still recovering after Thursday’s deadly severe weather that recorded about an inch of rain at Reagan National and BWI Marshall airports, Storm Team4 meteorologist Chuck Bell said.

Heavy rain reached D.C.’s northern and eastern suburbs. Most of these cells were slow-movers or nearly stationary, causing water to rise on major commuter routes in the eastern District.

Around an inch of rain fell in under an hour over northeastern D.C., making Rhode Island Avenue impassable in Brentwood. Flooding affected stretches of Minnesota Avenue and DC-295 in Deanwood. Firefighters battled flames in a home on the 1400 block of Channing Street NE shortly after 5 p.m. after a caller reported lightning had hit the building.

D.C. Fire and EMS reported downed trees on the 2400 block of Lafayette Avenue Northeast and a water rescue on the 600 block of Anacostia Avenue Northeast, with several unoccupied vehicles stranded in high water.

In Takoma Park, Maryland, police reported downed trees on the 7300 block of Maple Avenue that closed the road.

And in Spotsylvania County in Virginia, flooding was reported on Courthouse Commons Boulevard near English Lane.

For the latest road and traffic conditions, see WTOP’s traffic page or listen to updates every 10 minutes online or on the air at 103.5 FM. Download the free WTOP News app for Android and Apple phones to sign up for custom traffic and weather alerts.

The region dries out after midnight, but there might still be high water on some roads so, “Remember to be safe and turn around, don’t drown,” Storm Team4 meteorologist Steve Prinzivalli said.

The threat of afternoon pulses of storms and heavy downpours lingers daily into next week. Uncomfortable heat — and perhaps just as miserable, the stifling humidity — are also sticking around, at least for city dwellers.

“To beat the heat (there’s no escaping the storm chances) this weekend, afternoon highs will only be in the mid 80s in the West Virginia mountains,” Storm Team4 meteorologist Chuck Bell said. “Rain chances will be a bit lower at the Eastern Shore beaches, but it will be plenty humid with highs close to 90.”


Friday night: Evening storms likely, clearing after midnight. Patchy fog possible in rural areas. Lows in the upper 60s to mid 70s.

Saturday: Mostly cloudy and humid. Rain and thunder likely. Highs in the upper 80s to low 90s.

Sunday: Partly cloudy and humid. Heat indexes near 100. Scattered afternoon thunderstorms possible. Highs in the mid 80s to low 90s.

Monday: Partly cloudy and still humid, with scattered afternoon storms. Highs in the mid 80s to low 90s.

Current conditions:

Power outages:

WTOP’s Jessica Kronzer contributed to this report.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

Alejandro Alvarez

Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital journalist and editor in June 2018. He is a reporter and photographer focusing on politics, political activism and international affairs.

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