Powerful Storm Ravages Washington, Kills Four


Section:  
High winds of up to 60 mph knocked over trees, causing severe damage

One of the most violent storms in recent years ripped through Washington, D.C. and Maryland counties on the afternoon of July 25th. The high winds and heavy rain were too much for Pepco Regional Utility, and a widespread power outage left over 280,000 homes in the dark.

The fierce winds of the storm, reported to be as high as 60mph, managed to blow down trees and power lines, rip the roofs off houses, cause dangerous traffic conditions, and even start fires. Four people have been confirmed dead, including 44 year old Michelle Humanick, who died as a tree fell on her minivan at roughly 3:30 p.m., and Eric Lawson, only 6 years old, who was crushed by a falling tree at about 3:15 p.m.

With thousands without heat to cook their food or air conditioning to cool off during the hottest summers on record, crews could not work fast enough on Monday to bring power back to the many homes without electricity. Mary-Beth Hutchinson, a spokeswoman for Pepco, explained that "the company was borrowing crews from other utilities working in 12-hour shifts to free lines and poles pinned beneath toppled trees." Pepco finally managed to get the area back to normal late into the week, the delay caused by much more damage than just downed power lines.