Thousands without power after thunderstorms pound the D.C. metro area

Thousands are without power and crews are working with authorities to clean up, as the D.C. metro area recovers Thursday from the mess that late-night thunderstorms left behind.

Pepco reported that 2,543 customers were out of power Thursday afternoon; 2,137 of them were in Prince George’s County. Bob Hainey, a spokesman for the utility company, said crews were working to “get everyone back on as quickly and as safely as possible.” At the peak of the storm, about 22,000 Pepco customers were without power Wednesday night.

Dominion Virginia Power officials said winds as high as 77 mph broke poles in the Woodbridge area and pulled down wires in several others. More than 20,000 Dominion customers lost power; as of Thursday afternoon 2,439 remained in the dark.

Chuck Penn, a Dominion spokesman who traveled to Alexandria Thursday morning to survey the problems, said that 47 trucks had been deployed to the area to deal with the heavy damage. Penn said the company aimed to restore power for all customers by 11 p.m. Thursday.

The pocket of storms and downed trees left more than 600 homes in the southern Manassas area without power, said Priscilla Knight, a spokeswoman for NOVEC. By Thursday afternoon, all but four homes had seen their power come back.

Utility poles weren’t the only thing the thunderstorms toppled in the metro area.

U.S. Park Police closed a section of the George Washington Memorial Parkway at Belle View Boulevard in Alexandria to clear several downed trees. It reopened by 1:40 p.m.

Capital Weather Gang said tropical air could spawn more thunderstorms later Thursday, but skies should be clear Friday.

A spokeswoman for BG&E, which had less than five outages in Montgomery County and 430 in Prince George’s County Thursday, said area residents should prepare for more possible outages.

Victoria St. Martin covers breaking news and Prince William County for The Post's Local desk.
Julie Zauzmer is a local news reporter.
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