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Posted at 5:33 PM ET, 02/25/2011

Winds cause damage, power outages

By Washington Post editors

Dozens of people living in an apartment building in Northeast Washington had to be evacuated Friday afternoon after strong winds blew the roof off their three-story apartment building, according to reporter Theola Labbé-DeBose.

D.C Fire/EMS spokesman Pete Piringer said the building in the 4400 block of Quarles Street NE suffered significant roof damage and has been deemed unsafe to occupy by fire officials. Special Operations personnel and firefighters with the technical rescue expertise are on the scene.

Between 50-60 people have been displaced, Piringer said. The apartment building is near Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens, near the border with Maryland.

Winds gusting to 57 mph at Reagan National, 55 mph at Dulles, and 61 mph in Leesburg began moving through the region about 3 p.m., the Capital Weather Gang reported. Some places saw gusts as high as 65-70 mph.

Strong winds also knocked out power to thousands in the region. Pepco was reporting 37,732 customers without power as of 4 p.m. Dominion reported outages affecting 40,267 customers in Northern Virginia, and BGE reported 57,816 customers without power.

In Montgomery County, officials report that the Aspen Hill, Potomac and Quince Orchard libraries closed at 5 p.m. because of outages.

There were numerous reports of downed trees, wires and some utility poles. Dr. Gridlock reported that a Metro Red Line train was struck by a pole outside Union Station. No one was injured.

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Washington Post editors  | February 25, 2011; 5:33 PM ET
Categories:  DC  
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