A possible tornado swept through the Washington D.C., area Thursday night, passing through the National Mall and disrupting flights at Reagan National Airport.
Forecasters were still trying to determine if the wind damage that occurred in Virginia, the district and Maryland was caused by a tornado or straight-line winds. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning until 9:30 p.m. local time, and said about ten minutes after the warning had expired that the worst of the storms had passed.
“If you are in Arlington, DC, or nearby in the greater metro area: use extreme caution if out and about tonight,” the weather service said on Twitter. “There are likely lots of hanging branches and leaning trees from earlier storms which may fall overnight. Avoid wooded areas, downed wires, and flooded or closed roads.”
More than 30,000 households were without power in surrounding counties of Maryland and Virginia, according to poweroutage.us. At least 10,000 households were without power in the D.C. metro area, according to Potomac Electric Power Company.
Winds blew up to 52 mph at Reagan National Airport, disrupting flights and diverting them to Dulles International Airport. The winds also caused tree damage as close as the National Mall and as far as Arlington, Virginia, where one injury was reported when a tree fell and trapped a resident. The victim was transported to a local hospital and treated for non-life threatening injuries, the Arlington Fire Department said on Twitter.
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Pictures and video of the storm flooded social media, including window damage, ominous skies and downed trees.
The storm causing the possible tornado was the second storm in DC that day. A first severe thunderstorm watch was issued in the early afternoon. Flash flood warnings from the two storms remain in place, said the weather service.
Showers and thunderstorms will continue in the area overnight, the weather service said. Scattered showers Friday will give way to a brief lull in rain Friday night and into Saturday morning. A rain-free holiday weekend will begin on Sunday.