The last of the second line of storms was moving out of the area late Friday, and the tornado watch set to expire at 2 a.m. Saturday for the entire D.C. area was gradually being dropped as the stormy weather subsided.
That second line of storms was accompanied by fewer severe weather alerts than a dangerous first round Friday afternoon and evening.
However, a flood warning -- meaning flooding is imminent or has been reported and stream rises will be slow and flash flooding is not expected -- remains in effect until 3:45 a.m. for urban areas and small streams in Howard, Montgomery, Carroll and Baltimore counties. Another expires at 3:15 a.m. for Frederick County.
The last tornado warning -- for eastern Frederick, northern Montgomery, Carroll, western Baltimore and northwestern Howard counties -- expired at 9:30 p.m., but tornado warnings came and went throughout the D.C. area Friday afternoon and evening.
Several severe thunderstorm warnings and flash flood warnings were issued throughout the afternoon and evening as well.
One particularly strong storm produced a lot of lightning and strong winds and merited tornado warnings for D.C., Prince George's County, Anne Arundel County, Howard County and Baltimore County as it traveled northeast through the region. Many people have reported seeing a funnel cloud, but there have been no reports of a touchdown or a confirmed tornado.
But in Harford County, some surveying the damage in Bel Air believe a tornado was the culprit.
Two to more than 3 inches of rain fell in some places over the course of the storms. At Reagan National Airport there was 0.87 inches.
Rivers like the Potomac, Shenandoah and Monocacy were not expected to rise out of their banks, but smaller streams and creeks have.
In Prince George's County, a 13-year-old and two 14-year-olds who were out in the storm without their parents around had to be rescued from a creek at 38th Avenue and Allison Street in Mt. Rainier after 7 p.m. Somehow they wound up in the water but managed to cling to a pole under a bridge for about a half hour before they were rescued, News4's Shomari Stone reported. They were taken to Children's Hospital with hypothermia but in good condition.
Drivers are reminded not to try to drive through water as it is often deeper and stronger than it appears and it doesn't take much water to move a vehicle.
In northeast D.C., three cars were submerged in high water at Nannie Helen Boroughs Avenue and Kenilworth Drive just off the Beltway Friday evening. Firefighters had to call a rescue boat to get the people out of their cars, Stone reported.
Two vehicles became submerged on Eastern Avenue NE, but the people inside managed to escape, News4's Pat Collins reported.
Flood waters near Benning Road at Blaine and 42nd streets in northeast D.C. reached the doors of parked cars, including police cars, News4's Tracee Wilkins reported. It happened so quickly, several police officers hurried to try to move their vehicles as well as the police cars. But as happens with flash flooding, the waters receded quickly.
Trees came down across the Orange Line tracks between near the Cheverly station. Trains were being turned around and service is suspended between Stadium-Armory and Cheverly, and due to traffic conditions, shuttle buses were delayed. But normal service was restored by 8 p.m. No injuries were reported.
Metrobuses also were delayed due to traffic that stalled many motorists' evening commutes.
MARC train service also was affected at Union Station due to a loss of signal power.
The severe weather prompted two ground stops at BWI, Reagan National and Dulles International airports. The second had been lifted by 6 p.m., but delays were averaging 3 hours and 25 minutes at BWI, 3 hours and 27 minutes at Reagan, and 2 hours and 38 minutes at Dulles.
The Washington Nationals game was postponed as well.
The Frederick Transportation Department said it would not transport students while a warning was in effect in that area Friday afternoon. Buses that had left schools returned to shelter. Students have since been dismissed. Other school districts have followed similar procedures.
Several thousand power outages have been reported throughout the area, as well as downed trees and damaged buildings.
Friday's storms produced a lot of lightning and powerful winds. Three-quarter-inch hail also was reported.
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center said we had a 15 percent chance of tornadoes, a 15 percent chance of hail and a 30 percent chance of damaging winds (58 mph or greater). That 15 percent chance of tornadoes is unusually high for our area, according to Storm4 meteorologist Veronica Johnson.
The following tornado safety information is from Loudoun County's website:
The general rule for tornado safety is “go low and get low,” meaning go to the lowest level of the structure away from windows and crouch in a low position with your head covered.
When severe thunderstorms threaten, weather experts advise people to pay close attention to weather forecasts, watches, and warnings. Environmental clues that may indicate an approaching tornado include a dark, often greenish sky, large hail, and a loud roar similar to a freight train. To alert the public about possible tornadoes, the National Weather Service issues watches and warnings.
A tornado watch means that weather conditions are favorable for the development of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. If a watch is broadcast, stay tuned for further information, possible warnings, and be prepared to take cover.
A tornado warning means a tornado has actually been sighted or is indicated by radar. Warnings are issued for individual counties and include the tornado’s location, direction, and speed.
- Do not attempt to look for the tornado.
- If you are in or near its path, seek shelter immediately.
Those traveling out of the D.C. area still had a risk of storms east to Delaware, on the Eastern Shore, into southern New Jersey, into western Maryland, south to Richmond and even to Roanoke.
Saturday morning won't be stormy, but there still could be some debris and downed trees and power lines to watch out for.
As of now, Saturday afternoon and Sunday are looking mostly dry and mild with high temperatures approaching 80. There could be an isolated shower or two Sunday.
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