ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Wes Moore this week visited Westminster in Carroll County to survey major damage incurred as the result of statewide storm activity. The governor was joined by Lieutenant Governor Aruna Miller, Maryland State Police Superintendent Colonel Roland L. Butler, Jr., Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld, Maryland Department of Emergency Management Secretary Russell Stickland, Carroll County Commission President Ed Rothstein, Westminster Council President Gregory Pecoraro, and BGE CEO Carim Khozami for a situational briefing and review of the damage.
“This is Maryland at its best – all of us coming together, working as one team, with one mission,” said Gov. Moore. “To all the families impacted, I thank you for your courage and strength – and please know that we are here to support you. It will take time to fix the damage from last night – but we are going to stay coordinated, we are going to stay focused, and we are going to get this done.”
“The swift response and coordination between first responders, law enforcement, and officials at the local and state level is a shining example of how much we can achieve when we work together,” said Lt. Gov. Miller. “As we work to repair the damage caused by last night’s storm, we will continue to work collaboratively in partnership to help all Marylanders impacted.”
Shortly before 5 p.m. yesterday, severe storms caused significant damage to both directions of MD 140 between Gorsuch Road and Market Street, taking down approximately 20 electric poles. The fallen live lines posed a potential electrocution hazard, trapping 33 adults and 14 children inside their vehicles on the highway. No serious injuries were reported.
“Troopers from the Westminster Barrack along with Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to the scene to check the welfare of those motorists,” said Maryland Department of State Police Superintendent Colonel Roland L. Butler, Jr. “We are truly thankful no one was injured during this catastrophe. We are working efficiently to reunite owners with their vehicles and to clear the scene.”
After working diligently for hours at the scene and at multiple substations, BGE crews successfully de-energized the power lines. As they worked, Maryland State Police, Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputies and personnel from Maryland State Highway Administration checked trapped vehicles, provided water to trapped motorists, and secured the scene.
“First and foremost, our number one priority is always safety—the safety of everyone who uses the system and the safety of our employees,” said Maryland Department of Transportation Secretary Paul J. Wiedefeld. “I want to thank all of our employees who worked through the night and who continue to work. I also want to thank the citizens of Maryland for heeding the warnings very early yesterday, which helped get us through.”
“Coordination between the local jurisdiction of Westminster, Carroll County, and the state has been absolutely tremendous,” said Maryland Department of Emergency Management Secretary Russell Strickland. “We constantly plan, train, and exercise so responses like these can come together.”
By 10:30 p.m. Monday, those who had been trapped inside their vehicles were safely transported to nearby Winters Mill High School, also in Westminster, to receive a meal and to be reunited with their families.
MD 140 will be closed in the area of Gorsuch Road and Market Street as work continues to clear debris and to restore power. Eastbound and westbound MD 140 will be detoured using Gorsuch Road and Market Street. Drivers should allow additional commuting time.