Tuesday’s Storms Cause Flooding, Wind Damage

January 9, 2013

A series of severe thunderstorms resulted in heavy rainfall and high winds throughout the East Coast on Tuesday, flooding homes and roadways and cutting off power to many. Numerous schools across the region also were affected as classes were canceled due to power outages.

In Columbia, Maryland, flash flooding occurred when about twelve inches of rain fell there. Homes on the waterfront on Millers Island in Baltimore County were flooded as water poured over cement bulkheads along the Chesapeake Bay – into residents’ homes and basements.

The National Weather Service issued tornado watches for many states as the strong storm system swept through most of the eastern portion of the United States. There was damage done up and down the coast as the severe weather knocked down trees and toppled power lines, causing thousands of people in New Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey to lose electricity. Two major league baseball games were put on hold due to the bad weather and many watches and warnings for flash and coastal flooding were put into place.

In the Washington DC area, wind speeds exceeded 60 miles per hour while some portions of Maryland got two inches of rain in just a couple hours time. The bad weather also made the afternoon commute rather hectic throughout the region as the rainfall was extremely heavy, causing many delays and road closings. Heavy winds from the south pushed moist air up toward an approaching cold front to cause the severe weather. There were no reports of tornadoes in spite of the multiple watches issued by the National Weather Service.

Wind speeds at Washington’s Reagan National Airport were 61 miles per hour and topped out at 47 miles per hour at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall airport. Nearly 20,000 people lost power in Connecticut after the storm activity that rattled windows and knocked down tree limbs. The strong gusting winds there also toppled trees while the heavy rainfall caused some residential and business flooding along the shoreline. At one point Tuesday night, over 40,000 Connecticut Light & Power customers were without power.

The severe line of thunderstorms that swept across the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast had moved out to the Atlantic by Wednesday morning’s rush hour with forecasts across the region calling for partly cloudy to sunny and cooler weather. Those who were not so lucky Tuesday will undoubtedly be spending time today clearing fallen tree branches from their properties and pumping water out of their homes.

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