Darlington resident Jackie Curry estimates she was "about four seconds from death" Tuesday evening when a tree fell on her property and nearly crushed her while she was on her riding mower.

Bands of fast moving thunderstorms accompanied by high winds ripped through Harford County Tuesday night and late Wednesday afternoon, downing trees, knocking out power to thousands and contributing to several motor vehicle accidents.

The greatest amount of damage from both storms involved fallen trees.

Curry, 80, was cutting the grass on the 13-acre property along Nobles Mill Road she and her husband Franklin have lived on for more than 50 years when she saw dark clouds gathering.

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"The wind started blowing, and it was actually pushing my Dixie Chopper sort of to the side," she said.

Curry drove toward her house, and she was underneath a tree when she heard a "crackling."

Her son was there, and he told her, "Mom, don't stop, hurry, hurry!"

"I get just past the tree, it falls, and one giant limb almost gets my elbow," Curry said.

She said the tree fell and caused serious damage to her English flower garden. She was thankful the tree fell in the garden and not toward her house, where it would have taken out part of the kitchen.

"It was exciting," she said of the storm. "The wind was unreal; we've got tree branches all over our property."

A large tree fell on the property of Fidelity Exterminating Specialists in the 3600 block of Churchville Road near Aberdeen as a result of Tuesday's storm.

Lindsay Cox, the operations manager, said Wednesday that she received a message about the fallen tree Tuesday night.

"I was happy to see that it didn't hit anything," she said.

Cox said the business, which is owned by her father Bernie, was closed when the storm came through, and they were open for regular business Wednesday.

The tree did not cause any damage, and Cox said it was lying on the grass.

"It's not really in the way of anything right now," she said.

Trees were also reported down in Havre de Grace and elsewhere in the eastern Harford and western Cecil counties.

Gone in a flash

Wednesday's storm hit central Bel Air at 4:30 p.m., dropping buckets of rain, as the accompanying wind rattled windows and made driving visibility nil.

But just as fast as the rain and wind came, it was gone from the downtown area in barely 15 minutes.