Credit: Photo by Andriy Lutsenko

This story was updated at 10 a.m. on Aug. 12, 2021, to include the latest information on power outages

A severe thunderstorm brought down trees and power lines Wednesday afternoon, and left thousands without power in Montgomery County.

Much of the damage occurred in the Bethesda area, according to Montgomery County Fire & Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer.

In a video posted to Twitter, Piringer said trees and power lines were down throughout the Wildwood neighborhood, near the shopping center by the same name. Several streets were closed in the neighborhood, he said.

Piringer posted that there were more than 100 calls for service between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, roughly one call per minute. A typical daily average is between 325 and 350 calls, he wrote.

Other affected areas, according to Piringer, included:

  • The 5600 block of Alta Vista Road in Bethesda, in which wires were down on top of a vehicle and someone was injured by flying debris
  • The stretch of Interstate 495 between Rockville Pike and Connecticut Avenue, in which a vehicle struck a tree
  • Broad Green Drive near Claggett Farm Drive in Potomac, where a lightning strike was reported
  • Stretches of Old Georgetown Road and Md. 355 in Bethesda, in which traffic signals were out
  • Muir Place near Ferndale Street in Kensington, where a tree fell on a house that was occupied and there were live wires down
  • Several homes in Kensington were damaged by trees that fell
  • The 5200 block of Acacia Avenue near Linden Avenue in Bethesda, where a large tree fell on a house, causing structural damage and displacing a family
    Greentree Road in Bethesda. Photo by Cindy Rich.

A Twitter post from Naval Support Activity Bethesda stated that vehicles were being redirected from Gate F5 due to flooding. Drivers should instead use Gate 1 and expect delays.

As of 7 p.m. Wednesday, Pepco was reporting that 9,577 customers were without power in Montgomery County, compared to 63 in Prince George’s County and 16 in D.C. As of 10 a.m. Thursday, about 900 customers in Montgomery County were without power, according to Pepco.

Dan Schere can be reached at