45,000 homes, businesses lose power during storm in Washington area

Buildings were damaged, and tens of thousands of homes in the Washington area lost power Friday evening as fierce storms punctuated a third consecutive afternoon of sweltering heat.

More than a dozen apartment houses and at least one single-family house were significantly damaged in the Bladensburg area, Prince George’s County Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor said. It was unclear whether the damage was caused by wind, toppled trees or both. Trees damaged houses and blocked streets in several parts of the area.

About 45,000 homes and businesses served by Pepco in the District and Montgomery and Prince George’s counties were in the dark about 9 p.m. in the wake of winds gusting up to 60 mph, torrents of rain and bursts of hail.

The storm hit hard in southern Montgomery, northern parts of the District and northwestern Prince George’s.

Earlier, the 97-degree reading at Reagan National Airport made the day the third in succession with highs in the upper 90s.

Clarence Williams is the night police reporter for The Washington Post and has spent the better part of 13 years standing next to crime scene tape, riding in police cars or waking officials in the middle of night to gather information about breaking news in and around Washington.

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