Thunderstorms passed through the Baltimore area on Monday night, causing power outages that affected more than 4,500 customers as well as delays in the Baltimore Orioles game.
As of 11 p.m., power outages were affecting 2,917 customers in Baltimore County, as well as 125 in the city, 54 in Anne Arundel County, 987 in Harford County, 22 in Howard County and 34 in Carroll County, according to a BGE outage map.
BGE planned to work through the night and into the morning to get power restored as quickly as possible, BGE spokesperson Stephanie Weaver said late Monday. The company had also called in for more assistance, she said, and more than 300 utility crews would be coming into the area from outside Baltimore to help.
The storms brought heavy rain, thunder and hail to some areas, particularly north of the city, but the threat was diminishing as of 10 p.m.
The start of the Orioles game against the Cincinnati Reds was delayed until 7:20 p.m. as showers began downtown, and the game was delayed again about an hour later as rain picked up. The game resumed at 10:05 p.m.
The area may still see smaller storms or showers late Monday night, but the possibility of larger thunderstorms was decreasing, according to meteorologist Chesnea Skeen.
For Tuesday, the weather service was predicting partly sunny weather, then thunderstorms, with a high of 84 degrees.
The storms were not as severe as feared, but they did have an impact.
Baltimore County experienced winds of up to 60 mph, and a tree fell onto an apartment building in Pikesville. Hail was reported in Ashburton, in northwestern Baltimore City, as well as in Parkton, Sparks and near Towson.
Predictions of severe storms had many in the Baltimore area on high alert earlier Monday.
Storms were forming around Montgomery and Howard counties early Monday evening, with parts of Central and Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore under an enhanced risk alert.
Temperatures remained in the 80s Monday evening after a day of partly sunny skies and hot temperatures. Skeen had said the evening storms’ severity would depend in part on whether the heat held. Temperatures were expected to dip to 66 degrees overnight.
A half-inch to an inch of rainfall was expected in some parts. Wind gusts in excess of 60 mph and quarter-sized hail were also predicted.
“People should have ways to receive storm warnings if we do issue one, and be able to seek shelter immediately if you receive one. Be weather-aware,” NWS forecaster Brian LaSorsa said earlier Monday.
When a severe thunderstorm warning is issued, it means one has been detected by the National Weather Service’s doppler radar or a reliable report has been received. A warning is usually issued for portions of one or two counties, for an hour or less.
If you’re caught outside, you should take shelter in a sturdy enclosed building or hardtop automobile immediately. Avoid open spaces, isolated objects, high ground and metallic objects.
According to the NWS’ severe weather checklist, people can take a few precautions to prepare themselves in the event of getting caught in a storm.
First, check the Hazardous Weather Outlook. This is the best preview of when thunderstorms are expected to hit and indicates where severe weather is most likely to occur.
Next, check your safety kit if you have one. Ensure that items such as your radio and flashlight have fresh batteries and your cellphone is fully charged in case you lose power.
In preparation for the thunderstorms, the Maryland Department of Emergency Management sent text alerts to residents in English and Spanish and broadcast information about the forecasted weather on billboards throughout the state, spokesperson Jorge Castillo said in a statement. The department planned to update the billboards into the evening, he said.