Thursday, July 5, 2007

Laptops and Funnel Clouds

We always tell the kids to step away from the computer during a thunderstorm. Now comes this from the Sun last night:

"A strong and fast-moving storm system produced lightning today that injured a Howard County man and two reported funnel clouds did minor damage to separate parts of the county.

"Light rain and ominous clouds from the thunderstorm led officials to temporarily evacuate the National Mall before the annual fireworks extravaganza.

"In the Ellicott City area, a man in his mid-40s suffered minor burns when an electric surge moved through his laptop computer after lightning struck his home, said Bill Mould, spokesman for the Howard County Fire Department.

"Emergency personnel were called about 5:15 p.m. to the home in the 3800 block of Walt Mill Court, but the man -- whose name was not released -- was not taken to the hospital, Mould said.

"Fire officials said they had received two reports about funnel clouds in the county, one in West Friendship that knocked down several trees and another east of Columbia. A spokesman for the National Weather Service could not confirm that a tornado had touched down anywhere in Maryland or Washington, D.C.

"But meteorologist Brian LaSorsa said the weather service had received "a couple reports" of sightings of a funnel cloud south of Damascus in Montgomery County.

- Bradley Olson and Jennifer Skalka"

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