This story was updated at 7:45 p.m. Saturday.
Thousands of people are without power in Howard and Carroll counties after a powerful storm with wind gusts up to 80 mph in some areas struck the region late Friday night.
Gov. Martin O'Malley Saturday issued a because of severe thunderstorms, high temperatures and the long period of time it's expected to take to fully recover from the double blow of weather disasters.
The storm killed at least five people in the Washington region, according to the Washington Post, including a .
Tell us in comments: How have you been affected by the storm?
Cooling centers opened across Howard County, and will continue being opened Sunday as temperatures are expected to reach highs near 100. The also offered free admission to Howard County residents Saturday and the YMCA in Ellicott City opened its doors to non-members without power to use its facilities for showers.
A total of 21 people in Howard County reported trees on homes as a result of the storm, according to county spokeswoman Kathy Sloan-Beard. There are no reported injuries, county officials said.
BGE reports that 39,765 people are without power in Howard County as of 7 p.m. Saturday; 1,380 are without power in Carroll County. A total of 388,898 are without power across the state, with a total of 161,929 customers seeing their power restored since the storm.
Some businesses in Ellicott City took the and kept business open Saturday anyway.
Power was on at and the until about 11:30 a.m., when the power went out at both businesses, according to Mike Johnson at the Judge's Bench.
Johnson said the Wine Bin was also open, sans lights and air conditioning.
"We'll just keep our fingers crossed and let the chips fall as they may," he said
BGE officials said in some cases, .
Cooling centers are also open .
In Carroll County, Sgt. David Stem, at the sheriff’s department, said there was no “real damage” from the storm, “just some trees and branches in the road.”
Sloan-Beard suggested the following resources for residents with questions about the storm:
- If you are without power, call BGE at 1 877 778 2222
- If you have a downed wire, call 911, then, try a follow up call to BGE at 1 800 685 0123
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- With reporting from Brandie Jefferson, Bruce Goldfarb, Bryan P. Sears and Andrew Metcalf