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Maryland weather: Damaging winds move through Baltimore area, causing downed trees and power outages

The National Weather Service issued a severe weather warning Friday in parts of Central Maryland as damaging winds with gusts up to 65 mph moved through the area.

About two hours after a wind warning took effect, reports of downed trees started to crop up across the state, including along major roads in Baltimore.

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The National Weather Service reported dozens of trees down across Maryland, Washington and Northern Virginia.

Trees fell in two places on Interstate 695, according to the National Weather Service. Another tree came down on Falls Road. Multiple traffic hazards were reported in Carroll County, too.

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Weather service meteorologists predicted that damaging winds would blow into the area Friday afternoon, with steady breezes between 20 mph and 30 mph and gusts up to 60 mph. The meteorologists warned that winds were powerful enough to down trees, flush with green leaves capable of catching gusts, and cause widespread power outages.

In Dundalk, peak wind gusts reached up to 66 miles per hour as of 5 p.m., according to the National Weather Service, the highest recorded in Central Maryland at any time throughout the day into the evening.

Tree branches fell in the 700 block of E. Lake Ave. while a high wind warning was in effect on Friday. April 30, 2021
Tree branches fell in the 700 block of E. Lake Ave. while a high wind warning was in effect on Friday. April 30, 2021 (Kim Hairston/The Baltimore Sun)

Forecasters expected strong northwest winds to hang around through midnight.

Around 1:18 p.m., the weather service reported a tree blew down on the outer loop of I-695, near the exit for I-795.

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Four minutes later, another report for I-695: A tree came down on the outer loop, near the exit for Wilkens Avenue.

Another tree fell on Falls Road in Cockeysville, near Ridge Road, at approximately 1:25 p.m., according to the weather service. The Maryland State Highway Administration said in a tweet that all lanes were closed.

“With numerous reports of downed branches, trees and wires, we urge everyone — pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists — to stay alert and stay safe!” the highway administration said.

Two trees were reported to have come down in Carroll County in a matter of minutes, according to the weather service.

At 12:57 p.m., a tree came down onto wires, which snapped a pole in the 1900 block of Mayberry Road. One minute later, another tree fell on wires near the intersection of Sandymount and Maclee Roads, the weather service reported.

In another report just after 5 p.m., the highway administration said all northbound and southbound lanes between Woodington Drive and River Road in Montgomery County were closed due to downed trees.

Wind impeded the Maryland Transit Authority’s LightRail Link, causing delays on its northbound and southbound routes. A train was disabled the Falls Road and Lutherville stations, according to the transit authority.

Downed trees, road closures and outages persisted into the evening.

In Montgomery County, a tree fell onto the roof of a home in the Somerset community, according to the National Weather Service. In Gaithersburg, a metal roof was blown off a townhome around 5:03 p.m., meteorologists reported.

Debris from the wind spurred state highway crews to close northbound and southbound lanes of MD-23 near Harford Creamery Road near 7:10 p.m., according to highway administration. Around the same time, trees and wires were blown down on Selkirk Drive in Bethesda, according to the weather service.

At about 8:29 p.m., the weather caused the closure of the eastbound and westbound lanes of MD-214 near Muddy Creek Road in Anne Arundel County, according to state highway officials.

The National Weather Service around 9 p.m. downgraded its High Wind Warning to a Wind Advisory for the Baltimore and Washington metropolitan area and parts of northeastern Maryland and northern Virginia, effective through 2 a.m.

By 10:15 p.m., BGE was reporting 359 active outages affecting more than 8,900 customers.

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