The storms that so often sweep across the Washington region on summer evenings may skip some neighborhoods, but where they do show up, as in Prince William County on Friday, they can be stunning.
“There was zero visibility” in Haymarket on Interstate 66, in the wind and rain, Brittany Rogers said. Everyone on the highway “was stopped,” she said.
With the hail and the fallen trees, she pronounced it the “scariest storm I’ve driven through.” Another motorist, Rachel East, reported “awesomely phenomenal’ conditions as winds whipped up whitecaps in running water on Route 29 near Gainesville.
At one spot in that area, the rainfall rate topped 2 inches in an hour. Trees fell onto streets and at least one house. Lightning ignited an attic fire in western Fairfax County. Thousands of Northern Virginia homes and businesses lost power for a time.