OCEAN CITY, Md. (WJZ)– Cleaning up the mess in Ocean City. The National Weather Service (NWS) is trying to decide if a tornado caused the damage. Many people were caught off-guard by the storm.

Mike Hellgren surveys the damage.

Right now, the cleanup is underway, and many people who lived through it still can’t believe what happened.

Captured on camera from angle after angle, the funnel cloud moved fast toward the beach in Ocean City and left John Hutchinson scared for his life.

“Next thing I knew, ‘Whoosh!’ And I could see this funnel cloud, the tornado, snaking its way across the ocean,” Hutchinson explained.

He says the building shook, his heart was pounding, and in a matter of seconds, it was all over.

“My heart still beats a little fast when I talk about it,” he said. 

Heavy pieces of roof were thrown by the storm.

A massive crane and dozens of workers cleaned up the mess at the Ocean Villas on 75th Street where Hutchinson lived, and where the storm sheared off the roof.

“By the time the wind had started, I had to walk backwards because the wind was so strong. It was like being hit by a sandblaster,” one witness said.

For many, there is no doubt this was a tornado, but the NWS will have the final word.

“My expectation is, they’re calling it something, but at this point, we’re not saying if it is or isn’t,” said John Theobald, director of Emergency Services in Ocean City.

“I was actually stunned. I have never seen one develop in front of my eyes like that before,” said another witness.

The storm even sucked one woman down the hallway. It’s remarkable for the fear it caused, the damage it did and for what it spared.

“It could have been worse. Nobody was hurt. We’re all lucky. Very lucky,” an Ocean City resident said.

There were no reports of injuries, no loss of life in Ocean City. No warning was ever issued by the NWS on the likelihood of a tornado. It expects to know by Saturday if it in fact was a tornado.

Comments (6)
  1. Brian says:

    Ok Do they really need a expert to say yes thats a Tornado?

  2. HAHA says:

    Brian that is exactly what I was thinking it’s obviously a tornado hahahahaha

  3. really says:

    yes. what looks like a tornado, sounds like a tornado, and feels like a tornado, usually is a tornado. duh

  4. Robert Long says:

    No.. Its not a tornado. Anyone can see that its not. Its god taking a wizz on the board walk!. God people these days 😉

  5. Zac says:

    I hate to be the un cool one here. Usually in situation like this they have to officially determine size and strength (for records) and confirm the actual touch down (if not evident by destructions and radar patterns) for insurance purposes. Could you imagine how many people in ocean city would magically have “tornado damage” if they just came out and said it.

    But def pretty cool to see.

  6. Jamie Dorton says:

    I love how they dont wanna say it was a frickan tornado! That was a tornado if ive ever seen one…Oh wait, Ive seen 2, in person! …So what the hell do they think caused the damage? Maybe it was that large funnel shaped cloud touching the ground! Heh…Possible tornado…I love it ;O)~

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