Counties work through third day of storm aftermath -- Gazette.Net







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Activities canceled, cooling centers open across the region

The Montgomery County Department of Recreation has canceled all activities Monday, including summer camps. Facilities with power will still be open for drop-in use, but residents should call first to determine if they're open, according to a Montgomery County news release.

Cooling centers
Cooling centers are opening for those affected by power outages and high temperatures.
In Prince George's County, the following cooling centers are open from 1 to 9 p.m.
- Baden Community Center, 13601 Baden-Westwood Road, Brandywine
- Berwyn Heights Community Center, 6200 Pontiac St., Berwyn Heights
- Bowie Senior Center, 14900 Health Center Drive, Bowie
- Tucker Road Ice Rink, 1770 Tucker Road, Fort Washington
- Potomac Landing Community Center, 12500 Fort Washington Road, Fort Washington
- Glenarden/Theresa Banks Complex, 8615 McLain Ave., Glenarden
- Columbia Park Elementary School, 1901 Kent Village Drive, Landover
- Glassmanor Community Center, 1101 Marcy Ave., Oxon Hill
- Curry Sports and Learning Complex, 8001 Sheriff Road, Landover
- Palmer Park Community Center, 7720 Barlowe Road, Landover
- Lake Arbor Community Center, 10100 Lake Arbor Way, Mitchellville
- Cedar Height Community Center, 1200 Glen Willow Drive, Seat Pleasant
- Suitland Community Center, 5600 Regency Lane, Forestville

The County Administration Building, 14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive, Upper Marlboro, is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Anderson and Murphy Community Center, 422 Montgomery St., Laurel, and Robert J. DiPietro Community Center, 7901 Cypress St., Laurel, are open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Camp Springs Senior Activity Center, 6420 Allentown Road, Camp Springs, is open noon to 6 p.m.
Accokeek Academy Middle School, 14400 Berry Road, Accokeek, and Prince George's Plaza Community Center, 6600 Adelphi Road, and Kentland Community Center, 2411 Pinebrook Ave., are open 24 hours.
Residents in need of overnight accommodations can go to the shelter at Northwestern High School, 7000 Adelphi Road, Hyattsville.
Residents who use the cooling centers are advised to bring prescription medicines, critical phone numbers, and any comfort items, such as personal pillows.
Two “cooling shelters” remain open at Richard Montgomery High School, 250 Richard Montgomery Drive in Rockville, and White Oak Recreation Center, 1700 April Lane in White Oak.
Kennedy-Shriver, Martin, Glenmont, Bethesda and Poolesville county pools are closed. Residents are encouraged to call pools and recreation centers directly for availability.
In Frederick, cooling centers are open from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Frederick Community Action Agency, 100 S. Market St., and at the William Talley Recreation Center, 121 N. Bentz St.
The Giant Eagle Stores at 1305 W. 7th St. and 1275 W. Patrick St. are participating in the Potomac Edison free water and ice program. Customers can get one bag of ice and two gallons of water at no charge.

Safety reminders
In the wake of the storm, safety and public officials remind residents to be mindful of safety.
-If your power is out, try to use flashlights instead of candles when possible to reduce the fire risk
-Stay away from downed power lines
-If you come to an intersection where the traffic light is not working, treat it as a stop sign

This story was updated at 7:50 a.m. July 2.

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Several thousand residents were still without power Monday, as temperatures are forcasted in the mid-90s, after a wide line of fast-moving, ferocious thunderstorms swept the region late Friday night.

The storms left one dead in Montgomery County, initially left more than a million without power and forced mandatory restrictions on water use.

However, water restrictions imposed by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission after the storms knocked out power at two water treatment plants were lifted around noon on Sunday. The WSSC had issued a rare order that prohibited car washing, lawn watering and other non-essential uses.

Pepco reported more than 56,000 customers without power in Prince George’s County and more than 130,000 customers in Montgomery County without power at about 7:30 a.m. Monday. A spokeswoman said it could take days for service to be restored and emergency crews cautioned people to stay away from downed lines.

On Sunday morning, Pepco reported having restored power to all high-voltage transmission lines, substations and water pumping plants.

BG&E listed about 2,800 customers without power in Montgomery and about 25,000 in Prince George’s as of 7:30 a.m. Monday. Potomac Edison’s website lists more than 1,300 Montgomery customers and about 3,400 Frederick County customers without power as of 7:30 a.m. Monday.

WMATA spokeswoman Cathy Asato said Metro rail and bus service is running, but will be slow due to routes being blocked by debris.

One woman dead, several residents displaced

A 71-year-old Silver Spring woman died after a tree fell on her home Friday night, according to a statement from Montgomery County Police.

The victim’s identity will be released following notification of family members. The woman lived alone. She was found Saturday morning by Fire and Rescue personnel who were responding to a call for a tree down on a home in the 10000 block of Grant Avenue in Silver Spring.

Fire and Rescue personnel had to force entry into the home and discovered the woman’s body in a second-floor bedroom. The apparent cause of death, according to the statement, is from a large maple tree falling through the roof onto her bed sometime Friday night.

Montgomery County Police and Fire and Rescue personnel ask neighbors to check at homes where there is major tree damage and call 911 to report any concerns to check the welfare of individuals at those homes

Lightning strikes in Frederick County ignited two fires, one causing $40,000 in damages to a house at 2107 Garfield Court and the other destroying a home in the 10,000 block of Masser Road.

Multiple apartment buildings in the 5300 block of Riverdale Road in Riverdale Park were also damaged in the storm, including one that had lost a portion of its roof, said Mark Brady, spokesman for the Prince George’s County’s Fire and EMS service.

The damage had displaced an estimated 500 people living there, he said.

To care for the displaced residents, the county has established an emergency shelter at Northwestern High School at 7000 Adelphi Road in Hyattsville, Peterson said.

Use caution when using generators

Prince George's County fire officials are warning residents about the dangers of gasoline-powered generators in the wake of three incidents caused by carbon monoxide.

In Bowie, a house fire started in the 3100 block of Teal Lane after a generator was placed too close to the house and ignited a fire. The family were transported to a local hospital and are in good condition, said Mark Brady, fire department spokesman.

Another incident in Bowie Saturday night left an occupant on Jenkins Road exposed to carbon monoxide, Brady said. The occupant was treated on the scene and is in good condition.

An Upper Marlboro family was treated for exposure to carbon monoxide after the gas, produced by a generator, seeped into the home through a chimney of their home on the 12300 block of Putters Court. The family was transported to a local hospital and all are in good condition.

Brady said residents without power who are using generators should make sure the generators are placed outside, well away from the home, and use only very thick outdoor power cords.

"Even in a garage with a door open is not safe," Brady said. "These generators produce a high amount of carbon monoxide, which is a gas you cannot see, you cannot smell and you cannot taste."

Residents of apartments can be fined for code violations if they run generators on balconies, Brady said.

Dealing with the aftermath

Damage from the storm caused an inordinate number of calls in Montgomery County for downed transformers and trees falling on homes and electrical lines, said Graham. Cleanup crews are working to clear roads, but some bus service may be delayed.

On Sunday, several hundred traffic signals were still without power, according to a county news release. Road crews continued to clear debris and downed trees.

Downed trees played havoc at Mar-Lu Ridge, a church camp near Jefferson, said Sarah Lefler, executive director of the camp. A wedding was scheduled at the camp's chapel, which has a bucolic view of the Potomac River. The storm cut electricity and forced the festivities to the camp's other facilities that have power, Lefler said.

Among the damage was a large tree that fell over, damaging cars.

"Everybody’s safe, no one got hurt, so that's the blessing," she said.

About 90 campers were expected Sunday for the start of a week at Mar-Lu Ridge. That will proceed as scheduled, she said. Parents should drop their children off at the camp's "Area 3" at 4340 Mountville Road. The building has power, she said.

Conditions right for storms

The storms arrived in the region about 10 p.m. after a day of record-breaking heat, racing through the area in less than an hour. Winds were measured at hurricane strength several reports of 80 mph winds were noted on weather websites and heavy rain bursts caused road flooding.

Tom Kines, a senior meteorologist with AccuWeather, said conditions Friday were right for storms.

“Anytime you have temperatures near 100 and humidity like we had yesterday, that alone is sometimes enough to have pop-up thunderstorms,” Kines said.

Related story: Heat wave hits the tri-county area

Staff writers Holly Nunn, Katherine Heerbrandt, Alan J. McCombs, Doug Tallman, Jessica Loder, Meredith Hooker and Lloyd Batzler contributed to this report.