Update: 11:08 a.m. March 13, 2014

LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — Strong, damaging winds that ushered in a spring time freeze brought down trees, snapped power lines, darkened traffic lights, and left thousands without power in the D.C.-Baltimore region.

Temperatures plummeted from the upper 60s on Wednesday afternoon to near-freezing just hours later after a band of rain and thunderstorms blew through the region.

Strong winds — with gusts up to 60 miles per hour — were blowing throughout the night and knocked out power to thousands of people.

The winds appear to have snapped a power pole in half at Route 198 and Van Dusen Road in Laurel. Police have closed Route 198, detouring traffic around the downed wires.

A home in Silver Spring sustained severe damage when wind gusts caused a large tree to topple onto the roof.

The Maryland Transportation Authority is permitting only passenger vehicles to cross the Bay Bridge. Wind restrictions have also been issued for the Key and Hatem bridges.

The strong gusts caused a ground stop at Reagan National Airport for a short time on Wednesday night.

Check: Power Outages Near You

As of 11 a.m., Baltimore Gas & Electric was reporting about 4,200 of its customers without power, with the majority of those outages in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. At the height of the winds about 21,000 BGE customers were without power.

SMECO reports about 1,400 customers without power, with most of those primarily in Charles County.

Pepco and Potomac Edison were both reporting minimal outages.

Dominion Power reports less than 2,000 customers in the dark in northern Virginia.

Check: Current Weather Conditions

Channel 9 meteorologist Topper Shutt says Thursday’s high will be around 40 degrees, but wind chills will be below freezing.

Temperatures should return to the 50s and 60s for the weekend.


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