Fierce storms rake Washington area

Powerful thunderstorms closed out a third consecutive day of sweltering heat in Washington Friday, downing trees, and knocking out power to thousands of homes and businesses, as winds gusted to 60 mph and higher.

Around 8 p.m. last night about 35,000 homes and businesses in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties and the District of Columbia had lost electricity.

A large proportion of them were in northern sections of the District, and in the Langley Park/Hyattsville areas of Prince George’s County. Many homes in Bethesda and Potomac also lost power.

A tree fell across the southbound lanes of the Baltimore Washington Parkway near Route 450, and a huge tree toppled in Takoma Park, in a tangle of leaves and branches.

This all came on one of the season’s hotter days, as temperatures before the storm reached 97 degrees at Reagan National Airport.

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