Storms wallop D.C. region with wind, rain, hail


The top of the Washington Monument is seen beneath a threatening storm cloud on Thursday. (Astrid Riecken/For The Washington Post )

Live: Power outage tracker

Updated at 10:40  p.m.

Severe thunderstorms, including some hail, brought down tree branches and power lines in the Washington region on Thursday afternoon.

By 5:20 p.m., it had mostly moved past the area, but rain continued to come down, and many local roads in the District, Fairfax, Montgomery, and Prince William counties were blocked by downed trees.

In College Park, part of the roof of a seven-story apartment building blew off, blocking Route 1 between Greenbelt Road and Berwyn Road. The highway in that stretch wasn’t reopened until about 10 p.m.

As of 9 p.m., about 80,000 customers in the region were without power. Almost 34,000 outages were reported in Montgomery County, followed by about 29,000 customers without electricity in Prince George’s County. About 11,000 were without power in the District, and almost 6,000 had no power in Northern Virginia.

Also last night, a signal outage between Washington and Philadelphia delayed trains due to severe thunderstorms. Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said about 20 trains were delayed by intermittent power outages and downed trees in areas between the District and Philadelphia, but mainly in the corridor north of Baltimore. As of 10:30 p.m., hundreds of passengers continued to deal with delays as trains traveled through areas that had lost power.

“We’re just sort of slow moving through the area,” Graham said.

Earlier in the day, tree branches on the George Washington Parkway at several locations made travel difficult during the storm. But by 6 p.m., Park Police said that the road was entirely passable again.

 

The west lawn of the Capitol, where a rehearsal for Friday’s Fourth of July concert was scheduled, was evacuated due to the weather, according to a U.S. Capitol Police email.

MARC trains on the Camden and Penn Lines were delayed by 10 to 25 minutes due to the need to move more slowly in bad weather, the railroad said.

The D.C. firefighters’ union tweeted that a tree fell on a house on the 3100 block of Arizona Avenue NW, causing significant damage. And in Montgomery County, fire department spokesman Pete Piringer said that a woman was struck by lightning near the intersection of Old Georgetown Road and Democracy Boulevard but was not seriously injured. He also said that people were stuck in elevators in several buildings due to the power outages.

Residents posted pictures of dark storm clouds and told tales of drenching rain and large hailstones in Maryland, Virginia, and the District.

 

Follow Capital Weather Gang for the latest updates on the storm.

Julie Zauzmer is a local news reporter.
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