UPDATE (12:57 a.m., Aug. 15)—A severe storm tore through Baltimore County on Tuesday night, knocking out power to thousands of residents, causing at least one lightning-related fire and sending emergency crews on nearly a dozen water rescues.
Quarter-sized pieces of hail and dramatic lightning displays on the county's east side added to the storm's spectacle. Conditions capable of creating a tornado were also reported in the Bowleys Quarters/Middle River area, according to the National Weather Service.
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According to the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company power outage map, more than 11,800 customers in Baltimore County had lost power between 8 p.m. and midnight Tuesday.
As of 12:45 a.m. on Wednesday, power had only been restored to about 2,700 customers.
The Baltimore County Police Department confirmed at least one storm-related fire in the Parkville area on Tuesday night.
At about 10:25 p.m., an attic fire in a duplex, caused by a lightning strike, was reported in the 8500 block of Oakleigh Road. The fire was quickly controlled and no injuries were reported, police said.
The Baltimore County Fire Department and local volunteer groups remained busy, however, with nearly a dozen swift water rescues.
According to Capt. C. Ross Cooke, a department spokesman, there were 11 rescues reported between approximately 10:20 p.m. and 11:20 p.m. Tuesday.
Cooke confirmed that incidents occurred at the following areas:
- Overbrook Road, 3500 block, Pikesville
- Boyce Avenue, Brooklandville
- Rescues in Lutherville, but no addresses were immediately available
- Stockwell Road, 8700 block, Parkville
- Loch Hill and Register Road, Hillendale
- A rescue in Fullerton, but no address was immediately available
- Perry Hill Court and Route 43, near Walmart, White Marsh
- A rescue in Catonsville, but no address was immediately available
- Ruxton Road, two rescues
According to the White Marsh Volunteer Fire Company's Facebook page, "Crews from White Marsh and other companies have been very busy throughout central and eastern Baltimore County over the last several hours."
Issues stemming from the storm, according to the company's page, include:
- Vehicles stuck in swift and deep water
- Structure fires caused by lightning strikes
- Fire alarms
- Flooded basements
Severe thunderstorm warnings, as well as tornado and flood warnings, were in effect throughout the evening for Baltimore and Harford counties.
At first, only minor damage, such as downed wires and other insignificant calls were reported, police and fire officials said.
A severe thunderstorm and tornado warning by the NWS was initially set to expire at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and urged people to take immediate cover. At about 11 p.m., however, the NWS reported that the storm had weakened earlier than expected.
Another round of showers and thunderstorms was predicted over Baltimore County on Wednesday before 8 a.m. and continuing after 11 a.m., according to the NWS.