Mother Nature Wins this Round

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Powerful storms roar through our area overnight, causing heavy damage at a postal facility and other buildings in Northeast Washington (Published Wednesday, Nov 17, 2010)

    Area residents woke up Wednesday to mild temps, wet streets -- and plenty of downed trees and power lines, after storms and heavy winds ripped through the region overnight.

    The back of the U.S. Post Office Distribution Center in the Brentwood neighborhood of Northeast was severely damaged, littering the lot with cinderblocks and exposing two stories of the building. The windows of many postal vehicles were blown out from the wind.

    Homes nearby at Rhode Island Avenue and 6th Street N.E. experienced roof and siding damage, with some residents saying they'd initially thought a tornado had ripped through their neighborhood.

    "About a quarter to one, it woke my wife and I up," said nearby resident Thomas Blair. "We heard the windows begin to rattle, and we got up and we were going to go downstairs, into the basement, but we laid down on the floor. It only lasted 10 minutes. I heard something fall -- a tree fell in my yard."

    Merchandise outside a Home Depot in that area was tossed around the parking lot.

    NBC Washington meteorologist Tom Kierein said radar didn't detect any tornados, but those heavy winds were enough to cause severe damage.

    In Arlington, 60,000 volts of power shot to the ground when electrical lines clattered to the ground. Workers at the Virginia Hospital Center heard a powerful explosion and the windows shook.

    Dominion Virginia had more than 25,000 customers without power at one point. Now, only about 2,558 households are still without power. Pepco customers in Maryland and the District report 1,276 outages.

    Massachusetts Avenue at 34th and 35th streets was temporarily closed early this morning after a huge tree fell across the roadway. The street has since reopened.

    In Virginia, wires were down at George Mason Drive and 16th Street in Arlington; Wolf Run Shoals Road at Rutledge Drive in Fairfax Station; the 5300 block of Mitchell Street near Alexandria, and the 4700 block of Spruce Avenue in Fairfax.

    In Maryland, the 8000 block of Hampton Lane in Bethesda had wires down. Arcola Avenue was closed between Kenbrook and Hoyt Streets for a tree down on wires in Silver Spring. The power was out at Connecticut Avenue and East West Highway in Chavy Chase.

    Use caution and avoid areas with downed wires.

    The good news is, we've seen the last of those storms. Skies are continuing to clear up, with winds around 38 mph in the District. Temps are expected to reach an afternoon high of 65 degrees. Winds will calm down around sunset at 4:53 p.m.

    You can send your pics of the storm damage to isee@nbcwashington.com.


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