BALTIMORE – Baltimore Boulevard remains shut down after a storm knocked down more than 30 utility poles along Westminster Road Monday, trapping dozens in their cars.
Maryland State Police removed 33 adults and 14 children after 34 cars were trapped in fallen powerlines on Route 140. BGE worked to de-energize the powerlines so that they could be removed from their cars.
“They were stuck there because the powerlines 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 cars 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 tomorrow’s morning traffic and then state highway will update us, as well as BGE, as they start working at that location,” Carroll County Sheriff James 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.”
Powerlines were wrapped around their car as they waited for crews to safely evacuate them.
Others did take a direct hit to their cars.
BGE will be assessing the damage to make repairs.
“This is catastrophic damage,” said BGE spokesperson Nick Alexopulos. “This is damage that if you worked in electric distribution at BGE for your entire career, you may see it once.”
At one point, more than half of BGE’s Carroll County customers were left without power. More than 80 percent of the power in Carroll County is expected to be restored by 11 p.m. on Tuesday.
“This is the worst I’ve seen it and I’ve been here 23 years,” Carroll County resident Jim Ross said.
Governor Wes Moore is scheduled to visit the site at 7 a.m. Tuesday, to survey the damage, and speak with first responders and repair crews.