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October 30, 2012

Sandy brings havoc to Allegany County

CUMBERLAND — No injuries were reported by Tuesday morning after Hurricane Sandy’s tenacles wrapped the tri-state, disrupting life for thousands of residents with high winds, heavy downpours of rain — and, of course, snow to the west — along with winds gusting at time over 50 miles per hour.

By Tuesday morning, it seemed the worst was over for the immediate Cumberland and surrounding area, although steady rainfall remained in the National Weather Service forecast along with flood warnings and authorities pleading for citizens to stay at home.

First-responders throughout the region dealt with a variety of situations brough on by the monster storm that knocked out electrical service for thousands of customers throughout the Potomac Edison service area in western Maryland and nearby West Virginia.

The snow emergency plan remained in effect in Garrett County by late morning, including a section of Allegany County from Clarysville to the Garrett County line.

The Allegany County 911 emergency center handled nearly 100 calls for service from midnight to late Tuesday morning, most of which were calls for downed power lines and tree limbs and flooded basements.

”Most of the calls came from the western side of the county — Mount Savage, Clarysville, Frostburg, Midland, Lonaconing, and along Georges Creek. The west side was hit worst the rest of the county,” said 911 dispatcher Jason Morgan.

The emergency center also alerted the Allegany County Collapse Team  and Mount Savage Volunteer Fire Department to a collapse of a wall of a structure in the14700 block of Mullaney Street in Mount Savage. Units were alerted shortly after 10 pm., Monday. No injuries were reported.

At 12:15 a.m., the center was notified by Maryland State Police of a voluntary evacuation of residents of the Locust Grove area due to the rising Wills Creek and local flooding.

Interstate 68 at Finzel was closed dur to snow and blizzard conditions Monday night. The interstate was closed at the West Virginia-Maryland line by late Tuesday morning, creating a back-up of truck traffic on westbound I-68.

Thousands of Potomac Edison customers were out of service tuesday morning as utility crews worked to restore service to numerous affected areas.

By 5:30 a.m., Tuesday, the National Weather Service reported the worst of Hurricane Sandy had passed but flooding continued to be a major concern throughout the region.

Contact Jeffrey Alderton at jlalderton@times-news.com.

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Sixth-graders James Patalinghug, left, and Nina Cutter build a multilevel tower out of index cards Tuesday afternoon at Washington Middle School. The activity was part of a science, technology, engineering, math, known as STEM, lesson designed to teach students about load distribution, friction and gravity.

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