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Storms cause outages in area, damage in Pa.

Brief but powerful storms thundered and flashed across Central Maryland last night, but were gone quickly enough to spare the area from another round of flooding.

Scattered power outages affecting about 12,000 homes and businesses were reported by Baltimore Gas and Electric Co., and the heavy rain prompted a 57-minute interruption of the Orioles-Seattle Mariners baseball game at the downtown Camden Yards stadium.

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The storms proved more powerful to the north. In southern Pennsylvania, they knocked down several houses and ripped the roofs off half a dozen others.

Tornadoes were spotted in several parts of Pennsylvania, but as of last night the National Weather Service had not confirmed whether any reached the ground. A storm survey team was expected to visit the areas with the most damage today, said Joe Villani, a weather service meteorologist in State College, Pa.

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Winds of 60 mph or stronger ripped the roofs off six houses in Swatara Township near Harrisburg, and several houses collapsed, Villani said. Lancaster County reported a large number of trees down, but no injuries were reported.

The storm struck the Baltimore area about 7:30 p.m. and dropped about an inch of rain, according to the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.


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