The cleanup continues Thursday after trees fell and power went out

GAITHERSBURG, Md.Several were injured after severe weather, including tornadoes, ripped through the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia regions Wednesday evening, leaving a path of downed trees, damaged homes and power outages.

4 NWS research teams investigate storms

The National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington says it is sending four different survey teams on Thursday to survey damage in nine counties in parts of West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia.

This comes in the wake of severe weather that rocked the Washington DC region on Wednesday, causing widespread destruction.

Tree crashes into house in Gaithersburg; Schools remain open during cleaning activities

Debris was strewn across the roadway along Holly Road in Gaithersburg after a tree crashed into a house during Wednesday night’s heavy storm.

FOX 5’s Taylor Grenda was in the area where residents were cleaning up the mess left behind. Schools remained open on Thursday during the cleaning work. Grenda says another shower and thunderstorm is expected on Thursday, with heavy rain and severe weather possible again.

The National Weather Service has these tips for what to do in the aftermath of a tornado strike:

Stay informed: Keep listening to local news or a NOAA weather radio to stay up to date on tornado watches and warnings. During severe weather outbreaks, multiple thunderstorms are possible and can produce tornadoes.

Reach out to your family and loved ones: Let your family and close friends know that you are doing well so they can help spread the message. Text messages or social media are more reliable forms of communication than phone calls.

Assess the damage: After the threat of tornadoes has ended, check to see if your property has been damaged. When walking through storm damage, wear long pants, a long-sleeved shirt and sturdy shoes. If you see downed power lines, contact local authorities. Stay out of damaged buildings. Be on the lookout for insurance fraudsters if your property is damaged.

Help your neighbor: If you encounter people who are injured and you are properly trained, provide first aid to the victims if necessary until emergency teams arrive.

‘We’re incredibly lucky’: Montgomery County cleans up

Officials say the Montgomery County Emergency Communications Center received more than 100 calls for assistance Wednesday for more than 80 different incidents during the height of the storm that moved through the region.

We have been incredibly fortunate in Montgomery County, with two separate tornadoes during the rush hour and evening rush hours,” said Dr. Earl Stoddard, director of the Montgomery County Office of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, during a media update Thursday. “We were just fortunate that the damage in Montgomery County wasn’t significantly worse.”

“We believe there are two. I mean, it could end up being more than two, but we are thinking of at least two in Montgomery County right now,” he said, saying the storms are moving from west to east through the province.

He said someone was believed to have moved from Poolesville to Germantown. Another, believed to be the smaller of the two, passed through Gaithersburg, over I-270 and into the Olney and Brookville areas.

Stoddard said damage estimates will be in the millions and said he believed Montgomery County’s emergency alert system was working without problems.

Stoddard said a number of personal injury accidents were reported Wednesday evening, but no transportation was required. He urged residents to be careful as they clean up Thursday, telling them to report any broken wires.

Severe thunderstorms produced funnel clouds and tornadoes

Local officials believe at least one of the tornadoes touched down in the Maryland communities of Poolesville and Germantown. Power flashes were also reported along Interstate 270.

At the Montgomery County Fire Department, emergency crews responded to reports of people trapped in Gaithersburg. Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer said three buildings in Gaithersburg collapsed, trapping people inside. Piringer said the most damage occurred when a large tree fell on a single-family home, injuring five people, including one with traumatic injuries. He said they were all taken to a hospital.

READ MORE: Tornado traps five in Gaithersburg home

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