Strong winds, hail batter area

Strong storms with high winds swept through Prince William County on Thursday evening, stomping trees and cutting power to more than 3,500 Woodbridge homes and businesses.

According to the weather station at Quantico Marine Corps base, 0.59 inches of rain fell Thursday evening and hail up to a half-inch in diameter was reported.

Prince William police officers directed cars along Prince William Parkway and U.S. 1, where flashing stoplights snarled traffic at major county intersections.

Dominion Virginia Power spokeswoman Le-Ha Anderson said Thursday evening that about 3,500 customers in the Woodbridge area were without power. She said that in all, 11,500 customers were without electricity in Alexandria, Arlington, Springfield and Woodbridge.

Anderson said that lightning strikes and fallen branches on power lines were mostly to blame.

“We’re rerouting electricity to get power to customers as quickly as we can,” Anderson said. She added that power would be restored to most customers by late Thursday evening.

According to a spokesman with Northern Virginia Electrical Cooperative, about 40 homes near Potomac Mills mall in Woodbridge were without power Thursday evening.

Both Dominion Virginia Power and NOVEC provide electricity to Prince William County residents.

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