Reporting Alex DeMetrick
BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP)—Volatile weather. It started churning up thunderstorms Tuesday night, and it could trigger more powerful storms Wednesday evening.
Alex DeMetrick has more on damage and repair efforts.
Lightning and wind seemed to do the bulk of the damage—not in a widespread way– but more like random punches.
Baltimore Gas and Electric says it is preparing for more outages from storms that could bring 50 mph gusts. The strong winds could damage both overhead and underground power lines.
When an oak tree fell early Wednesday morning at the Windsor Mills residential complex, most people were asleep. That is until it fell through the roof, creating a gaping hole.
“I was in bed asleep, and all of a sudden it just came crashing down. And I’m like ‘Oh crap!’ And I looked up and the ceiling was gone,” said Paula Laws, homeowner.
People didn’t notice much wind, but they saw plenty of lightning. And where it looks like the tree exploded, there’s a scar of charred wood.
The same force may have brought a tree down on a truck in the Hamilton area.
“And that’s what I came out to and I just got it fixed last week, so it sucks,” said Rob Gibson, truck owner.
Sometimes it takes a combination of bad weather and bad wood to cause damage.
“You could see it was rotted out all the way to the base. It just basically split down the middle. We haven’t had the city come out in a while to brush any of these trees back,” Gibson said.
But it was wind that caused most of the power outages and kept BGE crews busy. The utility says it has restored power Wednesday to more than 14,000 customers who lost service during overnight storms, and about 1,100 were still without power at 2:30 p.m.
“Oh, it was a mess last night. Wind blowing so strongly that the rain, when it hit the windows, sounded like gravel,” said Rodney Walls, homeowner.
The wind brought a tree down onto a utility pole, snapping it. A repair crew responded quickly, but it still took hours to put everything back together.
In all, more than 14,000 BGE customers were left without power and air conditioning. But it could have been worse. It could have been hotter and more property damaged.
“We just thank God no one was hurt,” Laws said.
BGE says it is prepared for another round of bad weather with crews on standby in case this period of unstable air generates new thunderstorms.