MOUNT AIRY, Md. (WJZ) — Severe weather ripped through Mt. Airy last Firday night, bringing a tornado that tore through roads and buildings.
Cell phone video captured by a TJ Maxx customer showed rain pouring through a cracked ceiling after 100 miles-per-hour winds ripped off the roof.
After hitting the shopping center, the tornado continued north to Knills Farm and the community of Nottingham.
“Like a freight train came through and we didn’t even hear the trees snap off the wind was so loud,” said Brian Bieda, a Nottingham resident.
In a matter of minutes, Bieda’s backyard was destroyed.
“The area goes back about 60 yards into the woods of our property, you can see a trail used to be there, there’s a small play area that’s gone,” Bieda said.
The intense force of Mother Nature caused extensive damage across Mount Airy, impacting hundreds of families.
“Looks like a war zone in many places but the community is taking measures into their own hands that with government assistance, we’re going to be fine, but there’s going to be cleanup for a while,” said Patrick Rockinberg, Mount Airy’s mayor.
Rockinberg is focused on getting his town the resources they need to rebuild, starting with their disaster fund.
“The irony is we met that morning because we wanted to reinvigorate the fund,” Rockinberg said.
Now, they said they need the community’s help.
“This is going to become more complex because we have more families that need help,” said Ellie Bonde, with Mount Airy’s Disaster Fund.
Bonde runs the disaster fund and is hoping people will donate money- or even services.
“We all know multiple people impacted, houses shifted off their foundations, trees falling through the roofs,” Bonde said.
If you want to help out Mount Airy, donations can be made directly to the community’s website.