Wind blew through Maryland, with some gusts up to 60 mph More than 20,000 people lost power


Winds gusting to 60 mph whipped through Maryland yesterday -- snapping trees, yanking off aluminum siding and knocking out power to more than 20,000 people.

"It's pretty wicked out here," said Marc Kahan, owner of the Fairview Marina in Pasadena, who reported no boats on the water. "I bet I have three truckloads of debris on my beach. I'm not talking pickups. I mean full-sized dump trucks."

Officials reported no injuries from the winds.

Gusts from the west reached 60 mph at Martin State Airport in southeast Baltimore County at 1:50 p.m. and 52 mph at Baltimore-Washington International Airport at 1:02 p.m, said Tom Dougherty, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

More typical were winds of 20 mph to 30 mph, he said.

Throughout the city, wind frustrated police by tripping about 100 burglar alarms, police said.

As of late last night, 1,125 Baltimore Gas and Electric customers were without power, said BGE spokesman Chuck Rayburn. Earlier yesterday, the utility had restored power to 21,223 customers, Mr. Rayburn said.

But by 6 p.m., winds were starting to die down. They are expected to reach only 15 mph today, according to the National Weather Service.

The most common problem yesterday was trees bending into power lines -- which grounded the electricity, causing surges that knocked out fuses. "It's like if you stick a fork in a toaster, the electricity goes through you instead of the toaster," BGE spokesman Karl Neddenien explained.

In Owings Mills, Marty Sharrow, a cooperative weather observer for the National Weather Service, reported winds gusting to 48 mph and damage to tree limbs and aluminum siding.

And outside Baltimore, Potomac Edison Power Co. reported that about 2,000 customers lost service in parts of Howard, %o Montgomery, Carroll, Washington and Frederick counties.

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