High winds cause closings, outages, and damage

by Geoff Fox

A Hancock Public Works crew works alongside the prison work release crew to clear a fallen pine tree in Widmeyer Park on Monday morning. The tree was a healthy 50 to 60 foot tall pine tree along Hancock Veterans Parkway.

A windstorm associated with Winter Storm Quiana wreaked havoc on Washington County and the surrounding area Sunday night into Monday as gusts that reached up to 60 miles per hour.

In Hancock, First Energy was reporting more than 100 electric customers were without power around 9:30 a.m. Monday morning. The areas were mostly on the east end of town and the Tollgate Ridge area.

In Fulton County, several hundred customers were without power in the Needmore and Warfordsburg areas.

Around Hancock, debris was scattered on the Western Maryland Rail Trail and C&O Canal towpath, as well as along roads.

A tree fell Sunday night on Baptist Road. Town crews blocked off the street overnight until they could cut it Monday morning.

A 50 to 60 foot tall, healthy pine tree was toppled by wind in Widmeyer Park. Hancock Public Works and the inmate work release crew were out Monday in the park cutting the tree and clearing the fallen tree.

Along the C&O Canal, a tree fell across the towpath between Church Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. Public Works had moved the tree Monday morning.

Extreme winds, coupled with a saturated ground from earlier rains, caused large trees to loosen and fall throughout the storm.

The National Weather Service had issued a wind advisory for Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon.