DELAWARE (4/3/2016) More than 12,000 customers lost electricity this morning as winds gusting to 62 mph toppled trees and power lines across the state and damaged buildings, according to utility and National Weather Service reports.
About 8 a.m., a brick wall collapsed at the Greentree Apartments in Claymont.
In Wilmington, a tree tree fell on wires in the 1500 block of Adams Street about 10:30 a.m., toppling a pole into a house and starting a fire. No one was in the home but damage was reported.
Trees also fell onto homes in Newark, Laurel and south of Milford.
As thunderstorms rolled across Saturday, at least one house fire was attributed to lightning.
Odessa firefighters responded to the 100 block of Wellington Way in Grand View Farms shortly after 11 p.m., finding a blaze in the basement and first floor that Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Robert Fox said was started by lightning. Other fire companies were called to assist. No one was injured in the fire, which caused about $50,000 in damage. The Red Cross of Delmarva was assisting four residents.
In Oak Orchard, trees were blown onto three homes and a mobile home was blown over.
In Bridgeville, the front windows of a grocery store were blown out just before midnight.
In Georgetown, a tractor-trailer was blown over in a shopping center parking lot shortly after midnight.
A 500-600 foot chicken house was blown off its foundation in Centreville, Maryland.
About 7:30 a.m. today, winds gusted to 62 mph at New Castle Airport. Peak gusts of 58 mph were reported near Big Stone Beach, and 51 mph at Dover Air Force Base, according to the weather service. A gust of 71 mph was reported at Brandywine Shoals in the Delaware Bay.
Delmarva Power reported at 8 a.m. that more than 12,000 electric customers were without service in New Castle County, and over 130 in Sussex County, as well as more than 5,000 in Cecil County, Maryland. By evening, only about 430 Delmarva customers remained out, with almost all of them in New Castle County.
The Delaware Electric Cooperative had more than 200 customers out in Kent and Sussex counties.