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Posted at 5:49 AM ET, 11/17/2010

Powerful storms blast region overnight

By Debbi Wilgoren

updated at 7 a.m.
Tuesday's steady rain culminated in fierce storms overnight that tore roofs off buildings and downed trees and power lines, leaving thousands without electricity in North Arlington and Prince George's County and blocking some secondary commuter routes.

No injuries were reported, and major arteries were not affected. But several blocks of Rhode Island Avenue NE, in the District's Brentwood neighborhood, were blocked in the early morning, while crews tried to clear debris resulting from what seemed to be a particularly violent phase of the storm. Several commercial buildings in that neighborhood sustained considerable damage, local television stations reported. And in Northwest Washington, a large downed tree was blocking part of Massachusetts Avenue near the Washington Cathedral. The road was reopened by 7 a.m.

In Northern Virginia, Dominion Power reported more than 2,800 customers without electricity as of 7 a.m., down from as many as 5,000 overnight. North George Mason Drive was closed between 15th and 16th streets because of downed poles, trees and wires.

More than 1,300 customers were without power in Prince George's County in Maryland as of 5 a.m., but virtually all of those had their electricity restored by 7 a.m., Pepco reported.

(Read more on morning traffic conditions here.)

In Anne Arundel County, officials said Arundel Middle School would be closed Wednesday because of a power outage. It was not clear whether the outage was storm- related.

Wednesday's forecast is for clearing skies and windy conditions, with highs in the mid-60s. There could be a lingering morning shower or two, after which conditions should stay dry for the rest of the week.

By Debbi Wilgoren  | November 17, 2010; 5:49 AM ET
Categories:  DC, Maryland, Traffic and Transportation, Virginia, Weather  
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