Tornado Touches Down in Md.; Storm-Tossed Tree Crumples Van on I-66 in Rosslyn

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 1, 2009

A tornado touched down in Frederick County and a tree fell onto Interstate 66 Friday as storms swept across the Washington region, causing widespread power outages and bringing July to a turbulent close.

The National Weather Service said it confirmed a tornado in the New Market/Ijamsville area of the county, where many trees snapped and toppled. A preliminary estimate put winds as high as 100 mph. No injuries were reported.

On the interstate, the tree came down about 3:10 p.m. in the Rosslyn area, halting westbound traffic for about an hour. One eastbound lane was also blocked. Part of a van was crumpled, and a 54-year-old man inside was injured. Occupants of a second vehicle that was hit were unhurt, Virginia State Police said.

The storms suddenly blackened the region's skies on an uncomfortably sticky afternoon during which Washington's temperature reached 90 degrees, the fifth time since July 22 it was at least that warm.

Trees also fell Friday through much of northern and central Maryland and on the Eastern Shore, where a funnel cloud was spotted near Berlin in Worcester County.

At least 55,000 homes and businesses in Maryland and Virginia lost power for a time, many in Anne Arundel County.

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