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MD 140 reopened after severe thunderstorm

md 140.PNG
Posted at 11:31 AM, Aug 14, 2023
and last updated 2023-08-14 19:13:41-04

WESTMINSTER, Md. — Monday morning, the Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration reopened all travel lanes in both directions on MD 140.

The road has been closed since Monday, August 7, when a severe thunderstorm brought down about 30 utility poles along the roadway.

RELATED: Stretch of MD 140 closed after storm brings power poles down across the road

The downed poles trapped 34 vehicles, but despite the damage, no one was injured.

According to BGE, the damage impacted more than 10,200 customers in the Westminster area.

It left 33 adults and 14 children trapped in their vehicles and closed down both sides of the highway. Impacting tens of thousands of drivers and residents.

"The damage that was done as quick as quick as the storm went was surprising, I couldn't believe all them poles laying down across the road,” said Ted Petersen, who lives in Westminster.

Petersen said he takes 140 on a regular basis but had to find a new route to get home. He said he was pleasantly surprised to see that BGE had the road reopened in just a week.

"They're getting it done quick, you can go down 140 today so that's good,” said Petersen.

MDOT said 20 poles were replaced between Gorsuch Road and Market Street. This relied on a partnership between the linemen and helicopters.

It was a reopening very much welcomed by Carroll County Veterinary Clinic. Owner Lynn Wimmer said they had to remain closed last week as this road is how the business is accessed.

"The real challenge was when we had boarders coming in or going home because those were dogs, we had to walk, so we had several people, two people on each dog to make sure we didn't lose anybody on 140,” said Wimmer. "But now we're open and back to business and so that's great news.”

In addition to poles and trees down, a traffic signal system was destroyed at the intersection of MD 140 and MD 97.

During the evening of the storm, the State Highway Administration secured a school bus from a contractor for the Carroll County Public Schools to transport people that were trapped to reunite with their families at Winters Mill High School.

Some of the final repairs to the fallen electrical poles came when BGE brought a helicopter to help with the clean-up.

It helped rebuild electric transmission and distribution infrastructure along the roadway.

The main job of the helicopter was to pull a lightweight rope, better known as a lead line, through attachments on BGE's newly installed poles.

In all, BGE says its completed more than 1,500 jobs to restore service for more than 130,000 customers across central Maryland.

“We want to thank residents and commuters that rely on MD 140 and MD 97 for their support and patience as we worked with our partners to safely open the roads,” said State Highway Administrator William Pines, P.E.