At least two tornadoes were part of a line of brief but severe late afternoon thunderstorms that marched through Maryland Thursday, knocking out power to thousands.
The National Weather Service confirmed the twisters between Olney and Colesville, and in the Laurel-Columbia area. There were no reports of severe injuries or property damage.
A 19-year-old woman working at Plumpton Park Zoo near Rising Sun in Cecil County was struck by lightning in an initial wave of storms Thursday morning, according to Weather Channel reports. The Baltimore News Journal reported the woman was hospitalized in stable condition.
In one of the hardest hit areas in more severe late-afternoon storms, the drive on Norbeck Road between Rockville and Olney was treacherous. A traffic signal was out on northbound Georgia Avenue near the Intercounty Connector's Park and Ride lot south of Olney, where the National Weather Service said one twister was confirmed.
The storms had been part of predictions starting on Wednesday. Local and government forecasters were initially concerned that the storms would be much more powerful and spawn larger numbers of tornadoes.
The afternoon storms caused a few tense moments with tornado warnings being issued for parts of Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport, through its Twitter account, asked all employees and travelers at the airport to proceed to interior rooms. State transportation officials closed the Chesapeake Bay Bridge to traffic as strong storms passed through Anne Arundel County.
In Dundalk, residents reported weather conditions that quickly changed from clear to a torrential downpour that slowed traffic along North Point Road between Edgemere and Fort Howard.
By 5:30 p.m. the threat to most of central Maryland was over, leaving few power outages. But it was clear there would be cleanup for many residents.
In Aspen Hill, near Rockville, two Montgomery County police cars could be seen parked on Arctic Avenue, lights flashing, at a home where a large branch lay in a yard as downed wires hung nearby.
In Annapolis, Facebook poster Sue Johnson Rush said the storm "was strong but short, thank goodness!"
In the Washington area, Twitter user Chris Manley joked, "The most important news you will hear after the tornadoes today: Chipotle is still standing tall!"
Pepco reported 38,900 outages in Montgomery County and another 1,600 in Prince George's County.
BGE, which was considering calling in additional help from other states, late Thursday afternoon in the nine jurisdictions it serves.
Anne Arundel County had the most BGE customers without power—7,331. Prince Georges County was next with 3,602 customers without power.
The number of outages at 5:30 p.m. represented 1 percent of BGE's more than 1.2 million customers.
The afternoon storms were the second part of a weather event that began with a line of storms that rolled through the area Thursday morning.
Forecasters said cloud cover from those storms would slow heating from the sun and potentially limit the severity of the later storms predicted a day before.
Thunderstorms Monday brought tornadoes to four areas of Maryland including St. Mary's County, Woodbine, Locust Point and Fork. All four tornadoes were rated an EF-0—the weakest tornadoes on a scale that measures twister strength.
Dundalk Patch Local Editor Marge Neal and Associate Regional Editor Sean R. Sedam contributed to this article. This article was updated at 6:20 p.m. June 13 to reflect the latest information and descriptions of areas where tornadoes were sighted.
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