Toppled tree knocks out power in Westminster

1200 homes and businesses in the dark

WESTMINSTER, Md. - They are preparing for the Ravens crowd this weekend, but Papa Joe's Mexican Restaurant in Westminster lost its lunchtime crowd Friday when its power went out.

"It's not a great to have your power out on a Friday," said owner Trish Alejandrez, "It's one of the busiest days of the week.  It's been out since 8:30 this morning."

High winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour toppled a tree on Locust Street, which took the power lines with it just across the street from the Westminster Police Department.

"We were fortunate there was no one driving by," said Major Ronald D. Stevens, "One of our patrol sergeants was the first person on the scene.  He saw everything come down and was able to get everything blocked off (and) roadway detours put in immediately."

For many of those who live in the area surrounding the downed lines, the outage amounted to a brief inconvenience.

"The winds been pretty bad all morning and our house has been out for several hours," said Kelly Chiazacci, "We just electricity back."

But for businesses just off Main Street along Distillery Drive, no electricity meant no service and no profits on a day when they count upon it the most.

"I actually work at McDaniel College and I came down to Coffee Music to pick up an order and found out they were closed due to the power failure," said Patti Hull, "There has been some bad wind all night.  We could hear in howling outside."

Electric crews had restored power to all but 100 customers by mid-afternoon.

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