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Maryland weather: Lightning starts house fire in Howard County as severe thunderstorms move through Baltimore area

A house fire in the 11000 block of Holstein St. in Fulton was reported shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday. Neighbors said lightning struck the house during a thunderstorm. The home has been declared uninhabitable. Credit: Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services
A house fire in the 11000 block of Holstein St. in Fulton was reported shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday. Neighbors said lightning struck the house during a thunderstorm. The home has been declared uninhabitable. Credit: Howard County Department of Fire & Rescue Services (HCDFRS)

Severe thunderstorms swept through Central Maryland on Wednesday late afternoon and early evening, causing an estimated $1 million in damages to a Howard County home that caught fire after being struck by lightning.

The storms reached the Baltimore and Washington metro areas around 5 p.m., bringing heavy rain, strong winds and thunder.

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The Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services said in a news release that firefighters responded around 6 p.m. to the 11000 block of Holstein St. within five minutes of the initial 911 calls from neighbors. When they arrived, heavy fire was already showing in the single-family Fulton home.

It took about an hour before the blaze was fully under control, the department said. The home has been deemed uninhabitable.

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In Ellicott City, two trees toppled into separate buildings during the storm, the fire department said in a tweet. The structures were deemed uninhabitable until repairs can be made, and those who were displaced are being provided temporary housing.

Baltimore County Emergency Management said in a tweet there are reports of several downed wires throughout the area, specifically Pikesville. The agency warned people to not touch or move a wire and report any outages and downed wires to BGE.

On its online outage map, BGE reported only 200 outages affecting a little over 7,000 people in the area as of 11 p.m.

Most of the state was under a severe thunderstorm watch until 10 p.m., and several of the Baltimore area counties were under a severe thunderstorm warning until 8:45 p.m.

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A special marine warning was in effect for the Patapsco River, including Baltimore Harbor, until 7:15 p.m. Marine warnings remained in effect until 11 p.m. for the Chesapeake Bay from North Beach to Drum Point, Choptank River to Cambridge, and the Little Choptank River and Patuxent River to Broomes Island.

Showers and storms are expected to clear up overnight, where the low is around 68 degrees, but it will remain cloudy.

The storms came after a hot day in Baltimore, when temperatures reached 90 degrees in some areas.

Temperatures should cool slightly the rest of the week, leading into what’s expected to be a beautiful, mostly sunny Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday should be mostly sunny with a high near 86, the weather service said.

A 76-degree Friday is likely to bring showers and possibly a thunderstorm after 2 p.m., the weather service said.

A chance of showers Saturday is the only rain on the radar for the rest of the holiday weekend.

Saturday’s high temperature should be near 63 degrees, according to the forecast. Sunday and Memorial Day on Monday should be mostly sunny with highs near 69 and 77 degrees, respectively.

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