Carroll County Times

Year in Review No. 5: Mother nature acts up

A tornado, an earthquake, an almost-hurricane which was then dubbed a "superstorm" and a derecho all took place in the latter months of 2012.

Beginning in June, Carroll had four weather-related incidents which took people by surprise, or even left them without power for several days at a time.

An EF-1 tornado hits Gamber

Two tornadoes touched down in Carroll during a June 1 storm, according to the National Weather Service. Between 2:30 and 3:30 p.m., two tornadoes uprooted trees and snapped tree limbs.

The first, which was near Mount Airy at the intersection of Twin Arch Road and Old Frederick Road rated an EF-0, the weakest level on the Enhanced Fujita Tornado Damage Scale. Winds topped 65-85 miles per hour.

The second tornado touched down just west of Gamber, and was rated an EF-1 by the National Weather Service. It touched down for 4 miles and had a width of 150 yards. Trees were uprooted in Finksburg, Hampstead, Millers and Reese.


Derecho causes thousands to lose power

Nearly 3,000 Carroll residents lost power following a thunderstorm with winds between 60 and 80 miles per hour June 30. The power outages lasted for up to six days for residents in North Carroll.

The storm, called a derecho, whipped through six states and the District of Columbia in a 10-hour span. Maryland had more than 1 million residents without power following the storm. Baltimore Gas and Electric and Potomac Edison spent days restoring power.

Since the derecho, BGE has worked to keep up with aggressive tree trimming in order to bar some outages the next time the utility is caught off-guard, said BGE spokesperson Rob Gould. BGE worked on an approach to restore critical infrastructure like hospitals first, and then restore power to those who are connected to the largest power distribution line.

Earthquake surprises residents

A 2.2-magnitude earthquake caused a rumble in New Windsor, Westminster and Mount Airy in September.

The epicenter was several miles east of the intersection between Md. 26 and Md. 31, and was north of Md. 26, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

Maryland State Police and the Carroll County Sheriff's Office did not receive any reports of damages.


The hurricane that almost was

Just before Halloween, Superstorm Sandy made landfall along the Jersey Shore and the massive system's affects were felt throughout the Mid-Atlantic, including in Carroll County.

Winds gusted to near 60 mph in Carroll County and stronger along Maryland's Eastern Shore, topping 80 miles per hour on the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. More than 5 inches of rain fell during the storm, including 6.13 inches in Manchester and 5.95 inches in Westminster. Baltimore received its fifth highest rainfall for any calendar day on record with 6.67 inches.

The storm uprooted a massive tree which fell into a Sykesville woman's home.

Three homes in Carroll were damaged due to fallen trees, according to Carroll County Government spokesperson, Robert Windham.

Some homes experienced minor flooding, and school was cancelled for two days as a result of related power outages caused by the storm.

A total of 348,798 BGE customers lost power during Sandy, but regained it faster than in June's derecho. This was largely because BGE was able to order crews in from different states to work on the power outages, Gould said.