Six power poles were knocked down and Potomac Edison crews worked throughout the day to replace the poles and string new power lines, Potomac Edison spokesman Dave Kline said Tuesday night.
Potomac Edison reported that 886 people in the 21783 ZIP code in eastern Washington County were without power as of 8:06 p.m. By 9:09 p.m., the number of customers without power in the area had been reduced to 268, according to Potomac Edison’s website.
Much of the damage to Potomac Edison equipment was in the area of Crystal Falls Drive, Ringgold and the Water Street area in Smithsburg, Kline said.
Kline said the intense storms generally followed Md. 77 into Frederick County near Camp David. Weather officials said the storms lasted until about 1 p.m.
“Something went through that area. I don’t know what it was,” Kline said.
The severe storms that went through the area are known as a QLCS, said Ken Widelski, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, Va.
A QLCS can cause tornadoes, and the weather service issued several alerts Tuesday, including a tornado watch and a flash flood warning for Washington County.
Winds in the QLCS that passed through the Smithsburg area averaged 40 mph to 50 mph, Widelski said.
“There were gusts over 60 mph,” he said.
Tuesday’s storms dumped 2.06 inches of rain in Hagerstown, weather observer Greg Keefer reported on his website at www.i4weather.net Tuesday night.
In Chambersburg, Pa., weather watcher Jerry Ashway reported 3.36 inches.
The stormwater system in the Borough of Waynesboro, which has flooded yards and homes in the past, seemed to withstand the precipitation. Borough Engineer Kevin Grubbs said he did not receive reports of problems with the system.
Crews monitored the situation throughout the day, Grubbs said.
“They’ve been out cleaning inlets,” he said.
Chambersburg (Pa.) Borough Manager Jeffrey Stonehill said the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation closed Commerce Street at one point during the storm due to flooding.
Despite the heavy rains, a Franklin County 911 dispatcher said there were few problems reported, other than branches blocking roadways.
NWS meteorologist Kevin Witt said the southeastern part of Washington County, primarily near the Potomac River, was under the greatest threat of being flooded.
Witt warned people to stay away from high, fast-moving water that might be on roadways. “It’s better off to take another route,” he said.