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Area experiences outages as thunderstorm hits


About 4,100 utility customers lost power yesterday when an afternoon thunderstorm moved across the Baltimore area.

Most of the outages yesterday afternoon were in Howard County, Glen Burnie, Annapolis and Cockeysville and were caused by falling trees and branches that downed power lines, according to Makini Street, a spokeswoman for Baltimore Gas and Electric Co.

Service was expected to be restored overnight, Street said.

National Weather Service meteorologist Julie Arthur said "a little cluster of thunderstorms" formed over the northern Shenandoah Valley in Virginia and moved east across Maryland "right into Baltimore."

A severe thunderstorm warning was issued for the city and Baltimore County at 3:36 p.m. Torrential rains reached downtown Baltimore shortly before 4 p.m.

The storms then weakened over the Chesapeake Bay and were followed by sunny skies.

Instruments at Baltimore-Washington International Airport recorded .39 inches of rain yesterday. More than 5 inches of rain have been measured at the airport since May 18. Eight of the past 10 days have brought rain.

Although it has dampened the Memorial Day weekend, the wet weather has also ended a 30-day dry stretch that threatened agricultural interests across the state.

The dry spell began April 18 and a scant .02 inches of precipitation was recorded at the airport through May 17.

More rain is possible today. The Memorial Day forecast called for mostly cloudy skies, with a chance of showers and thunderstorms and highs in the 70s.

Sun staff writer Richard Irwin contributed to this article.

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