Thunderstorms rage in parts of Maryland Storm strikes Baltimore, Carroll counties.


An intense and tightly formed storm struck Carroll County and parts of extreme northern Baltimore County last night, causing power outages to about 14,000 Baltimore Gas and Electric customers, said a spokesman for the utility.

In Hagerstown, a series of storms hit that area in the afternoon and most of the evening, closing several main highways and secondary roads due to high water.

Moving toward the northeast, the storms largely missed the Baltimore area, where crews were still restoring service to the last 100 customers, among 40,000, who lost power during a Tuesday storm.

Occasional rain was forecast for the Baltimore area today, with temperatures falling through the 70s this afternoon. Chances of rain are forecast for tonight, with an overnight low of 55.

Then, things change. High temperatures through Monday are forecast to be only 65 degrees under sunny skies.

In the metropolitan area, Carroll County received the brunt of the last storm. Authorities said high winds last night blew down trees, sheds, barns and other structures throughout the area. More than 30 buildings were hit by lightning.

No injuries were reported.

BG&E; spokesman Art Slusark said the storm struck Westminster and surrounding communities about 7 p.m. and blew through in less than 30 minutes.

BG&E; spokeswoman Peggy Mulloy said about half the 14,000 outages were in Carroll County, with most of the rest scattered across northern Baltimore County.

By midmorning, a utility spokeswoman said, all but 1,500 customers had service restored. The rest were expected to be on line again by noon.

Michael Munshaur, night-shift supervisor at the Carroll County Emergency Operations Center in Westminster, said 34 storm-related fire calls came into the center, the result of lightning hitting buildings, trees, and transformers.

Hagerstown was struck by several storms over a seven-hour period, beginning about 3 p.m.

"The storms came one after another," said State Police Sgt. Greg Spickler in Hagerstown.

Spickler said several highways and secondary roads were closed by high water and some motorists were stranded briefly.

U.S. 40 through Hagerstown was closed today due to flood damage. State Police expected it to be closed for several days so State Highway Administration officials can evaluate damage to the road's foundation.

"Water backed up from the sewers and apparently washed out several sections of Route 40 in town," Spickler said.

More rain was forecast for Western Maryland today and tonight, with the high temperature of 62 and the overnight low of 45.

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