D.C. severe weather: Cleanup begins after powerful storms hit D.C. region

A tree crashes into a home in Cheverly, Md. (Photo: Jay Korff)

People across the D.C. region are once again cleaning up the mess left behind by Tuesday's severe storms.

A line of storms blew through the D.C. area, bringing heavy rainfall and damaging winds to the region but spared it the kind of massive destruction seen by the June derecho.

More than 20,000 customers lost power Tuesday after the winds downed trees and power lines.

In the Frederick area, heavy rain prompted flash flood warnings and made for nightmare driving conditions.

In Capitol Heights, Shelly Jones thought she was sheltered from the storm. She was in the safety of her own home on her favorite couch when this branch crashed through her ceiling. Her neighbor, Pam Silver, says it barely missed her.

Earlier in the day, a tornado warning was issued for D.C. and the counties of Montgomery and Prince George’s. But the warning was canceled after about 10 minutes.

In McLean, Va., a gray minivan lost control in the 7900 block of Lewinsville Road, ultimately striking a tree, rolling and catching fire. The driver couldn’t be saved from the burning wreckage and was declared deceased.

“I saw the ball of fire in the middle of the street, turned out it was the car,” says Bob Freda, who witnesses the crash. “I saw a couple of firefighters trying to hose it down and then it kind of exploded one more time.”

Motorists were concerned about the conditions on the roads which at times made driving difficult

“It was just pouring down rain so I just waited and waited,” says motorist Barry Hobart. “The winds seemed to dissipate a bit and at soon as it did I made a run for the car.”

In Northwest Washington, a small fire still burned after a tree came crashing down on a power line on Georgia Avenue, damaging a car underneath.

Ayu Tekle owns the car and waited to see if it would start again.

"It just progressively started burning more and more and more, and big clumps of the tree were just falling down in the car," Tekle recalled.

Even with the Nationals game postponed, traffic on South Capitol Street was a disaster thanks to flooding near Malcolm X Avenue. D.C. Water and Public Works pumped the extra water out of there.

One family in Arlington found themselves celebrating a birthday in the dark - and without part of their roof.

The Riguera family was inside their Claremont home when a tree crashed into it, taking out their chimney and part of the roof.

"There was a shaking and then, boom. I said, 'What's that an earthquake?," Femila Riguera recalled.

The resulting power outage didn't ruin Giovanni Riguera's 9th birthday at all.

"We're going to have an ice cream party, so it doesn't spoil," Mom Abigail Riguera said. "We've just really been blessed that it could have been worse."