Emergency Services Director: Kent Island Tornado Looks ‘Like Somebody Steered It… Away From Homes’

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Damages are expected to run into the millions as authorities say 14 homes and one business were destroyed by an E-F2 tornado that struck Kent Island early Monday morning.

Residents and officials say they still can’t believe only one person was injured during the storm, which traveled about two miles with top winds at 125 miles per hour.

“Looking at the damage, and the path that the storm and the community that it hit, we can’t believe that there was only one injury that we had to transport to a hospital,” Director of Emergency Services for Queen Anne’s County Scott Haas said Tuesday morning.

“Looking at an aerial view of the storm, it was almost like somebody steered it through the neighborhood away from homes. It’s unbelievable the path it took.”

The National Weather Service says it began as a waterspout that developed over the Chesapeake Bay between Annapolis and Stevensville just south of the Bay Bridge, which then moved ashore and traveled northeast. It touched down for four minutes.

It was the third tornado ever to strike Kent Island in modern history and the strongest.

The waterspout skipped over the first row of homes on the water but when it touched down, it caused a lot of damage inside the Bay City community.

“There was no alert until after the event, and its just very upsetting. You really got to have your finger on the pulse of the weather all the time,” says John McKay, storm survivor.

Now the hard work is underway, getting back to the normal that was taken away so suddenly.

Some 9,000 customers were affected, however now as power crews continue work, there are less than 100 customers without power.

“All the agencies, Queen Anne’s County, Natural Resources Police, Maryland State Police, everyone’s been in the neighborhood, very supportive. Being an officer myself, its good to see the brotherhood step up and help out,” says Brian Hunt from Bay City.

In Stevensville, one of the areas hit the hardest by the tornado on Kent Island, dozens of children were to be at Island Alliance Church for Bible School, but the winds toppled the building.

“You just don’t expect anything like this. When I got the call I was shocked,” says Pastor Thomas Leonard.  “Unfortunately, the building got damaged but the building is not the church right, the people are the church.”

“There’s pieces of our building all strewn throughout the neighborhood,” says Thomas.

In the Anchorage neighborhood of Stevensville, trees were knocked down all over. Sidings of building peeled like bananas and boats tossed around.

“I would say they are progressing a lot better than what people anticipated. To have power back this fast is unreal,”  says Donna Harrington, whose home was spared by the full wrath of the rare and powerful tornado that shockingly only lasted 4 minutes.

“This area here is probably one of the harder hit in this community,” Harrington says. “There’s just so much cleanup here, I just can’t believe it.”

But the entire community is banding together to get back to a sense of normalcy.

According to the executive director of the Delmarva Chapter of the American Red Cross, Theresa Young, 300 lunches, and 300 dinners were served to residents and crews on Monday.

Workers are making efforts to get the area cleaned up, as emergency maintenance team doing damage assessments.

For anyone looking to donate to those needing help from tornado damage, an official donation site has been set up for victims.

According to Queen Anne’s County, Department of Emergency Services there will be a collection site at the Kent Island United Methodist Church, located at 2739 Cox Neck Road in Chester, Maryland.

Donations will be accepted Monday through Fridays, 9:00 am thru 5:00 pm at the church office building. For more information contact Pastor Amor Woolsey at 410-643-5361 or by email at amor@kiumc.org.They say that at this time, clothing will not be accepted.

They say that at this time, clothing will not be accepted.

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