‘Fierce’ hail­storm, pun­ish­ing gusts as se­vere weather ex­pels spring snap

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS - BY MARTIN WEIL AND SU­SAN SVR­LUGA martin.weil@wash­post.com su­san.svr­luga@wash­post.com

Hail­stones fell so thick and fast in South­ern Mary­land on Saturday af­ter­noon that the noise they made as they struck the roof of a sports com­plex be­came not a rat­tle but a full-throated roar.

So in­tense was the con­stant clat­ter of the hail­stones that it was dif­fi­cult to hear peo­ple speak, said Lisa Lan­grell, who was in­side the 90,000-square-foot Cap­i­tal Club­house in Wal­dorf, Md. The din al­most re­sem­bled the sound of a freight train, she said. “Fierce,” she said. “In­cred­i­bly fierce.”

Bring­ing high winds and pun­ish­ing gusts, a line of thun­der­storms pushed into the Wash­ingNev­er­the­less, ton re­gion Saturday af­ter­noon, ex­pelling the spring­like con­di­tions that had pre­vailed.

As skies black­ened, the storm felled trees, tore down power lines and, ac­cord­ing to emer­gency of­fi­cials, cut off elec­tric­ity for a time to tens of thou­sands of Mary­land homes and busi­nesses.

Struc­tural dam­age in­cluded cracks in the walls of the Lowe’s store in La Plata, said Guy Yesse, a spokesman for emer­gency ser­vices in Charles County. No in­juries were re­ported. Wit­nesses told of fun­nel clouds, the sig­na­ture of a tor­nado, but as of late Saturday no twister had been of­fi­cially con­firmed by the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice.

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