Ice coats Maryland, Virginia

Photo: John Lewis

(WJLA) - Freezing rain left sheets of ice on cars, roads and power lines Wednesday morning. Trees and poles toppled, knocking out power to thousands of people.

The trees starting falling on power lines and houses in Frederick before 5 a.m.

“One after another,” says Ashley Slade. “The sky turned green, the sky turned blue.”

A massive branch fell on Beth Hayden's home.

“It sounded like an earthquake,” she says. “I looked out the window here and saw all these branches.”

“I didn’t think it would be this bad until I woke up this morning,” says Jim King of Frederick’s Public Works Department. “It’s pretty bad. We got some big trees down.”

Downed trees blocked roads for hours and businesses closed because of loss of electricity.

“You could hear the ice and tree limbs falling down,” says Adrienne Jones. “Everybody in a panic hoping we didn’t lose power. It’s terrible, terrible. I’m ready for spring.”

Over 1,500 without power in Northern Virginia

Long after the precipitation had stopped falling, a tree came crashing down onto utility wires in Northern Virginia.

“This street was hit pretty hard,” says Kim Edwards of Dominion Virginia Power. “We had about four to five poles, broke wire on the ground.”

Crews working with Dominion Virginia spent all day removing tree branches from the wires and reinstalling the poles. It will be nighttime before they expect power to be flowing once again.

At its height, more than 1,500 people were left without electricity in Northern Virginia.

Leesburg was one of the hardest hit areas. Residents woke up to their community coated in about a quarter inch of ice.