ESSEX — Keri Talmadge, of Essex, had just arrived at a graduation party for her cousin on Saturday evening when she got a call from her neighbor about a big tree that had fallen into the front yard of her townhouse on Middlesex Road. Her neighbor could see the tree from outside her window, and had told Talmadge that the tree had cracked and lifted the sidewalk. Talmadge immediately left the party, when she heard the news.
“I told my cousin ‘I love you. Congratulations. But we have to go,’” she said.
The felled tree had barely missed the house, and a couple of feet to the left, and it would have crashed into it. At first, she was afraid that the tree had struck the corner of her house, where her bedroom is.
“On the drive home, I was thinking, ‘Oh my God, can you see inside my house right now?’ I was really, really scared.” she said. “It wasn’t like that. Thank God.”
Talmadge was one of many area residents affected by the storm that passed through last Saturday.
The storm featured 3.55 inches of rain and 60 mph wind gusts, and it damaged homes and vehicles across Eastern Baltimore County, according to Luis Rosa, a meteorologist employed by the National Weather Service.
Another place in Essex affected by the intense storm was the Marlyn Garden Apartments. Fallen trees had damaged three buildings in the apartment complex, and residents in 10 units had to move out and relocate to vacant units within the complex, according to an apartment official. It is not yet known how severe the damage is or when residents will be able to return home.
Several other downed trees and large branches had caused damage across Eastern Baltimore County, according to Chief Tim Sinnott and Assistant Chief Dan Mroz with Middle River Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company, Inc.
Department personnel had responded to a total of 24 calls for service in the area, Sinnott and Mroz said. Most of the calls came in between 2:30 and 6 p.m. on Saturday, though crews are still responding to reports of storm-related damage.
Middle River crews, along with other county crews, responded to calls on Saturday night of lightning strikes hitting an apartment building and a house, several fire alarms going off, and a working church fire. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the church fire.
The department’s Dive Rescue Team was also called to rescue people from vehicles submerged in the flood waters. Both water rescues were at or near Route 40, which flooded from Rosedale to White Marsh. Parts of the roadway were shut down for a few hours until the water receded, and those rescued were able to leave the scene unharmed, Sinnott and Mroz said.
In addition to the storm damage and emergencies, 41,000 people lost power due to the storm, and 32,000 of those live in Baltimore County. A high number of the residents are from the southeastern quadrant of the county, according to Richard Yost of Baltimore Gas and Electric communications. By 8 p.m. on Monday, all power was restored.