BALTIMORE — Dozens of people became trapped in their vehicles on a busy Westminster road after a powerful storm knocked down more than 30 utility poles Monday evening.
Maryland State Police said they are working to remove 33 adults and 14 children after 34 vehicles were trapped in fallen powerlines on Route 140. BGE is working to de-energize the power lines so that they can be removed from their cars.
“They were stuck there because the power lines came down and they couldn’t get out of their vehicles,” Carroll County Sheriff James DeWees said. “We have remained in constant communication with those in the vehicles and they are safe.”
Officers are providing those trapped in the vehicles with water.
Officials said a bus will take them to Winters Mill High School and the cars will be towed and removed from the scene.
Route 140 in Westminster will be closed and without power for an extended period of time.
“It will remain closed for [Tuesday] morning traffic and then state highway will update us, as well as BGE, as they start working at that location,” DeWees said. “That is the absolute route to get people in and out of this county to get people up north to Pennsylvania and into Westminster.”
Monday’s powerful storm brought heavy rain, damaging wind gusts and a tornado warning into Carroll County.
“One thing people will ask, was that a tornado that came through?” DeWees said. “We aren’t experts. We can’t tell you that. But it sure looks like one went through. That’s for someone else to determine.”
The sheriff said there were homes struck by trees and other damage.
However, there weren’t any reported serious injuries.
There will be an increased police presence around homes and businesses with power outages.
“I will warn you, don’t come here and do anything stupid,” DeWees said. “We will have an awful lot of police officers out and this is no place to play. This is no place to come out and act foolish.”
John Hockman and his wife narrowly missed getting struck by a fallen power pole.
“We saw it coming down, so I asked my wife to back up, and as it was coming down, two little pylons almost came down on us,” Hockman told WJZ.
WJZ-TV is a media partner of The Baltimore Banner