Winds gusting up to 47 miles an hour slipped through Metropolitan Washington yesterday. A row of town houses under construction in suburban Virginai was blown down, and there were reports of trees toppling and power lines falling around and metropolitan area.

The high winds were part of a low pressure system that settled over the area yesterday. It was expected to give way to diminished winds and colder air, according to the Camp Springs office of the National Weather Service.

Hardest hit was Fairfax county, where the first floors in four partially constructed Burke Center town houses collapsed and had to be roped off by the Burke Volunteer Fire Department.

At Dulles Airport, winds peaked at 47 miles an hour and averaged 30 miles an hour throughout the day.

"We had a wind warning this morning alerting all airports in the area to tie down all light aircraft. This wind could certainly tip over a Cessna or Beechcraft," said Wayne Albright of the National Weather Service at Dulles Airport.

Montgomery County Police reported a tree was blown onto the Beltway between Old Georgetown Road and Rockville Pike, striking the trunk of a westbound vehicle. There were no serious injuries but two westbound lanes of traffic were closed while the tree was removed.

There were numerous reports of signs being blown down, windows broken and burglar alarms tripped by the strong winds in Prince George's County. One resident reported to police that the shingles from a nearby store were torn off and carried onto his lawn.

Fairfax residents reported house siding was peeled off by the wind and branches and trees had served power lines leaving them without electricity.

There were power outages in the Fordson Road, Beacon Mall, Southgate Square and Belleview areas of Fairfax. Downed power lines temporarily blocked traffic at the intersection of Reston Avenue and Leesburg Pike.