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Maryland Remembers Derecho Disaster

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Linh Bui joined WJZ Eyewitness News in July 2013 as a weekend anchor...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s been two years since the derecho–a powerful storm that struck Maryland, leaving behind widespread damage.

As Linh Bui reports, people impacted are reflecting on that wicked weather.

Howling winds and drenching rain. On June 29, 2012, a weather phenomenon called a derecho tore through our state.

“A derecho is basically a long lived, very rapidly moving line of intense thunderstorms,” said meteorologist Chelsea Ingram. “They’re most common usually during the late spring and summer time and can occur as often as every two to four years right here in the Mid-Atlantic.”

The intense storm swept across Maryland, causing $19 million in damage.

“The downed trees were everywhere. There were power lines on the ground. It was a serious storm,” said Mark Salditch, Woodberry.

There’s much calmer weather in Roland Park now. But two years later, people still clearly remember the derecho.

“It was truly frightening. The trees were whipping around probably more than I’d ever seen before,” said Frank Thomsen, Roland Park.

It took more than a week to get back to normal.

The derecho plunged nearly two million Marylanders into the dark. It took eight and a half days to get everyone’s power back on.

People have since taken extra precautions.

“People are much more careful about having the trees not touch the power lines. Things like that. It just seems like there’s much more vigilance about those issues now,” said Sujata Massey, Roland Park.

Many people had never heard of a derecho. Now it’s something they’ll never forget.

“It just sort of came out of the blue and it was extremely destructive,” said Mimi Parvis, Baltimore County.

“Just shows what Mother Nature can do,” Thomsen said.

The derecho actually formed over Iowa and ended up causing severe damage in more than 11 states.

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