LANHAM, Md. (CBSDC) — Heavy rains and strong winds were battering the D.C. area overnight Wednesday and into Thursday morning as severe thunderstorms threatened to cause substantial flooding and tornadoes.

The National Weather Service has a Tornado Watch issued through 2 a.m. Thursday for much of the D.C. area. In Maryland, Calvert, Anne Arundel, Prince George’s, Howard, Charles, and Montgomery counties are under the watch. In Virginia, Arlington, Fairfax, Stafford, Prince William, Loudoun, Spotsylvania and Fauquier counties are under the watch. A tornado watch means conditions are favorable for tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.

The National Weather Service also has issued a Flash Flood Warning through 12:30 a.m. for Montgomery, Frederick and Howard counties in Maryland. A Flash Flood Warning means that flooding is imminent or currently occurring.

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Other surrounding areas are under a Flash Flood Watch through late Wednesday night, and a Wind Advisory remains in effect for the entire metro area until 6 a.m. Thursday.

Some areas could see 1 to 3 inches of rain and wind gusts up to 50 mph. The heaviest rain is expected to fall between 9 p.m. Wednesday and 3 a.m. Thursday.

As storms bringing high winds and torrential rain approached the D.C. area Wednesday night, power outages were reported throughout the area. As of 10:15 p.m., Dominion Power had more than 1,000 customers without power in Northern Virginia, down by more than 2,000 from earlier in the night; Pepco and Baltimore Gas & Electric each reported less than 200 customers in the dark.

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