BALTIMORE (WJZ) – Thursday marks the five year anniversary of the powerful derecho storm swept through the Baltimore Washington area.

On June 29, 2012, the rare storm filled with high winds and heavy rain caused massive devastation around the area totaling $19 million worth of damage.

The strength of derechos is often compared to that of a tornado, but it’s their punishing straight-line winds that topple trees onto houses, cars and power lines.

The derecho caused wide spread power outages, leaving nearly two million Marylander’s in the dark. It was reported that 9,200 power lines came down during the storm and it took eight and a half days to get power back on to all customers.

The damage was so severe, President Barack Obama had declared a major disaster for Maryland and granted the state federal aid to help with local recovery efforts.

The derecho originally formed over Iowa but tore through a total of 11 states, leaving severe damage in its path.

“It is incredible that this line of thunderstorms raced eastward at nearly 60 mph from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic coast,” WJZ meteorologist Tim Williams says. “These storms left a track of destruction that killed at least 20 people…not to mention the millions in property damage and power outages. We may not have been familiar with the term ‘derecho’ before June 29, 2012. But, how phenomenal that an event so rare and foreign to this area has created a memory that many Marylanders will not soon forget.”

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