The weather folks had been talking about the possibility of violent storms all day. The high heat and humidity which was hanging around the Germantown area would have to give way to some heavy rain and wind, and that is just what tore through the region Tuesday evening.
The storm blew in shortly after 5:30 pm, with lots of lightening, heavy wind and driving rain. Shortly after 6:00 pm the reports of down trees and power lines began flooding into the Montgomery County Emergency Dispatch Center. The storm down trees which either completely or partially blocked almost every major road in Germantown at some point.
After spending much of the day baking in near 100 degree heat, many Germantown residents spent the night cleaning up from the storms which ripped through town.
Most of the damage seemed to be found in neighborhoods north of Wisteria Drive. At 9:00 pm, Pepco was reporting about 4,500 customers without power due to the storm, according the Pepco’s outage map. Pepco reports over 10,000 customers without power throughout Montgomery County after the storm.
Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service senior spokesman Pete Piriger said, "The storm did some significant damage to Upcounty areas including Germantown, Poolesville, Damascus and Laytonsville. We had a number of reports of trees falling on homes and vehicles."
The bulk of the power outages were along the Warring Station Road/Forrest Brook Drive corridor around Roberto Clemente Middle School, and Father Hurley Boulevard south of the CSX train tracks to Liberty Mill Road. There were also areas without power along Wisteria Drive from the Dutch Market to Seneca Valley High School. The traffic lights at Great Seneca Highway and Wisteria Drive were not functioning for a time.
Montgomery County Fire Rescue Service responded to a report of a tree into a residence in the 19700 block of Crystal Rock Drive with people trapped, however that report was erroneous. While there was a tree down, thankfully there was no person trapped.
MCFRS responded to a reports of a trees into a houses on Climbing Ivy Way, and another on Waterside Drive, neither tree did much damage to the houses nor was anyone was injured.
Another large branch came down on Waterside Drive, but it only blocked the road of the parking area of the townhouse development, completely missing cars parked on both sides of the tree.
There were four trees partially blocking lanes on Waldorf Drive, with one falling and completely covering a catering delivery truck. The truck looked to suffer only minor damage.
A large tree was blown down across Wynnfield Drive between Wanegarden Drive and Laurel Hill Way. Montgomery County Police arrived on scene shortly after a number of drivers took it upon themselves to just drive on the lawns of the townhouse adjacent to the down tree.
Outside of Germantown, in Poolesville, MCPD was investigating an accident which took the life of a driver on Darnestown Road (MD Rt. 28) near Cattail Road, in which a vehicle struck a down tree branch and hit a utility pole and the wires came down upon the car, trapping the driver in the car. MCPD closed Darnestown Road for a few hours while the Collision Reconstruction Unit investigated the accident.
Piringer said that there were many trees down along Rt. 28 from Darnestown out to Poolesville and then up to Dickerson.
By 7:30 pm the storm had moved out of the Germantown area leaving residents to clean up branches and leaves while dappled in the yellow/orange glow of an early summer sunset.
Top: Montgomery County Police Emergency Services Unit on the scene of a tree completely blocking Wynnfield Drive after the storm.
Next: Traffic lights were out at Great Seneca Highway and Wisteria Drive on Tuesday evening after the line of storms blew through Germantown.
Next: A down tree branch blocked one lane of Great Seneca Highway.
Next: A tree was blown into the rear of a townhouse on Climbing Ivy Way.
Next: Neighbors on Waterside Circle work to remove a large tree branch, which luckily fell in such a way that it didn’t damage the cars parked on either side or the street lamp.
Next: A playground on Red Robin Terrace in the Seneca Meadows neighborhood was almost complete covered when a large tree branch was blown down on to the playground equipment. Thanks to Terrance Ragland for the photo.
Next: A large tree branches fell in front of Germantown Elementary School on Liberty Mill Road, another large branch fell in the parking lot. Again neither tree did any significant damage.
Next: A tree branch fell on Daniel Tobiasson's deck on Country Ridge Drive in the Churchill East neighborhood.
Next: Another downed tree, this one near Waters Landing Drive and Lowfield Drive. Thanks to reader, Jhasper G. Paul for the photo.
Photos by Germantown Pulse, except where noted.