A windstorm that the National Weather Service is calling “one of the most powerful” in recent years caused transportation cancellations and delays throughout Maryland on Friday, and late in the day Amtrak said service on its northeast corridor would be suspended into Saturday.
“Despite our best effort to restore service between [Boston] and [Washington] today, we have determined at this time it is not safe to do so,” Amtrak said in a post on its Twitter account.
MARC train services were suspended Friday, with high winds causing signal failures and fallen trees blocking tracks, the Maryland Transit Administration said.
And the Maryland State Highway Administration warned of potentially dangerous driving conditions, and said it would have increased emergency patrols out on the roads throughout the day. The SHA warned drivers to watch their speed — particularly on bridges.
Downed trees and limbs wreaked havoc during rush hour. Late afternoon, the outer loop of the Beltway at Greenspring Road had just one late open as a result of felled tree.
Two tractor trailers overturned on the Interstate 95 Tydings Bridge on Friday morning, according to the Maryland Department of Transportation. That bridge is closed, while wind restrictions were in effect on the Bay Bridge, the Route 40 Hatem Bridge and the Key Bridge.
At least one car was struck by a falling tree at Walther and Weaver avenues in Northeast Baltimore.
A high wind warning is in effect throughout the state, with gusts of wind up to 60-70 mph expected. The strongest gusts are expected around noon Friday, but the storm could last until Sunday. The storm is expected to cause widespread power outages. Several schools in the area are closed.
The National Weather Service warned that travel is dangerous, and people should stay inside if possible.
Amtrak was also experiencing delays and cancellations throughout the northeast corridor, due to trees being blown onto tracks and into power lines.
Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport said there were no significant flight delays as of Friday morning, but urged travelers to check with their airlines throughout the day for updates.