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Gov. Hogan declares emergency as wind storm knocks out power in Maryland, closes bridges, topples trees

A winter windstorm carrying gusts up to 70 mph ripped through Maryland on Friday, uprooting large trees, closing or clogging many of the state’s gateway bridges and roads, and leaving a quarter of a million people without power.

The powerful storm also claimed at least one life — a Baltimore County woman died after she was struck by a falling limb as she walked to her mailbox.

Major bridges across the region — including Maryland’s Bay Bridge spans across the Chesapeake — were closed at times for safety reasons. MARC service was suspended, and Amtrak canceled trains between Boston and Washington. Dozens of roads closed at least briefly due to fallen trees and power lines as crews scrambled to respond.

Public school systems, including Baltimore City and Baltimore, Howard and Carroll counties, closed Friday due to the storm, and many canceled after-school activities.

The National Weather Service called the windstorm “one of the most powerful… in recent years.”

“We rarely get these kinds of winds for such a long period,” said Ray Martin, a meteorologist at the weather service’s Baltimore/Washington forecast office.

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