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Sunday, April 3, 2016

High Wind Warnings Proved to be Correct

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930
mebrady@co.pg.md.us     @PGFDPIO

Throughout Saturday the National Weather Service had issued High Wind Advisories and Warnings for the National Capital Region.  Local media continually broadcast forecasts of very high winds and warned of the potential for damage from the winds.  Wind gusts of up to 60 mph were forecast when a cold front rolled through the area.  The storm was worthy of all the warnings at about 10:30 pm, Saturday, high wind gusts toppled trees, utility lines fell and subsequent automatic alarms were activated as well as small outside fires erupting from downed utility lines.

A normal 24-hour day averages about 450 incidents being handles by Prince George’s County Firefighters and Medics.  With the 14 hours spanning from 10:00 pm Saturday until 12 Noon Sunday Public Safety Communications handled 352 calls for service, which is well above average.  Most of the incidents were wind related.

While most incidents were handles without incident there were 3 incidents that were notable.

At around 10:45 pm, Saturday, April 2, Prince George’s County Firefighters and Medics were alerted to a tree and utility lines on top of a car in the 9600 block of 49th Ave in College Park.  A large tree fell on the front of the vehicle at the base of the windshield causing significant damage and intrusion into the passenger compartment.  Two people, an adult male passenger and adult female driver occupied the vehicle. The male patient sustained minor injuries and was able to get out of the vehicle; however the female patient was trapped in the driver’s seat. After about 15 minutes the female was extricated and treated by medics for serious injuries on the scene and prepared for transport to a Trauma Center.  Both patients were transported to an area hospital/Trauma Center.   The Incident Commander advised that there were numerous trees and wires down in the area of this incident.

Just before 3:00 am, Sunday, Firefighters responded to the 5200 block of 59th Avenue in Riverdale for a reported house fire.  Fire/EMS units arrived at a single family home with light smoke showing. Upon further investigation they determined a tree fell in the front yard pulling utility lines with it and falling against the house.  The electrical panel in the basement appears to have suffered a power surge and subsequent fire.  Fire was out upon the fire department arrival.

At about 3:30 am firefighters responded on a report of an outside fire.  They arrived at the intersection of Woodedge Drive and High Bridge Road in Bowie and found brush and woods on fireUpon further investigation they discovered a tree and utility lines had fallen across the road and ignited the fire.  Firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire.