National Weather Service Probes Possible Md. Tornadoes

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This storm will go down in the record books.  It’s left families devastated and a long trail of destruction across the East Coast.

Andrea Fujii has a look at the damage here in Maryland.

The heavy rain that pounded Maryland and caused serious flooding in some parts was quickly joined by another force.

“It sounded like a freight train coming through the yard,” said Westminster homeowner Donald Livingston.

“Within five, 10 minutes of it raining hard, it got real windy.  The sky just turned real gray,” said Union Mills homeowner Steven Renkin.

The winds were so fierce, several massive trees toppled over.  In one case, a Manchester family lost their home.  The branches pierced through the roof, snapping it in half.

Meteorologists from the National Weather Service were on scene Sunday to determine if tornadoes whipped through.

“It’s much like a big CSI or NTSB investigation.  You take everything you can from the ground, any eyewitness reports, information from the radar back at the forecast office, and you put all that together,” said Chris Strong, National Weather Service.

To get a sense of how strong the storm was, one tree was 10 feet wide and its entire root system was ripped above ground.  It landed on a house.

“We were scared.  We’ve never been in anything like this before,” said Westminster homeowner Leslie Phillips.

Phillips is surprised her own house was untouched.  She says 25 trees on her property, including one that landed on the barn, were uprooted.

“We went to the basement.  There was hail.  Everything upstairs was blowing around and crashing,” Phillips said.

Power lines also crashed, leaving 36,000 BGE customers without service at one point.  Some say it’s the worst storm they’ve seen since Hurricane Isabel.

No injuries or fatalities were reported in this storm.  Weather officials say they’ll know if it was a tornado in the next few days.


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