COLUMBIA, Md. (WJZ) — As a strong system of thunderstorms rolled through the region, some areas reported damage and thousands were without power for parts of Thursday night.
In Howard County, there was a tornado warning until 4 p.m. It has since expired, but strong winds and rain did knock trees over.
BGE reports around 1,800 people in the Howard County area are without power as of 11 p.m.
— Fano S (@fantafano) May 23, 2019
National Weather Service confirmed there was an EF-1 tornado in Columbia on Thursday during the severe weather watches.
Howard County Police are still receiving reports of trees down on roadways throughout the county. Please exercise caution and try to stay off the roads if possible. If you see downed power lines, call 911.
A woman was minorly injured and briefly trapped inside a home in Columbia after a tree crashed through the home in the 10200 block of Wayover Way.
It has not been confirmed if the tornado was to blame for the crash, or if it was just the previous storms.
At about 3:40 pm, a Columbia woman received minor injuries after a tree crashed through this home in the 10200 block of Wayover Way pic.twitter.com/cj8Ac1kctc
— Howard Co Fire & EMS (@HCDFRS) May 23, 2019
“It was really bad. It was so windy, it was raining so hard,” said Kathleen Lewis, a neighbor in the area.
“We could see the tree in the front of our house just swaying back and forth,” said Deena Seifert, another neighbor.
Her husband, Lee, said it sounded like a freight train.
Once it had passed, it was all hands on deck as neighbors worked together to clean up the mess left behind.
“My son’s room is the one that the tree was up against and the one that’s one the other side of it is the nursery for this little guy, it’s pretty scary,” said Erin Gomez, a neighbor.
Deena Seifert called it a war zone. She said she was inside her house with her husband when she saw the tree fall on top of her neighbor’s house.
The homeowner said his mom was reading a book in her bedroom when the tree broke through the roof and trapped her inside.
He said she is expected to be okay.
In the nearby Grateful Heart Gate neighborhood, winds sent people running to take cover.
“The actual force of the wind split the tree and the tree fell down,” said Mike Dunston, a Village of River Hill resident.
Debris scattered along streets and front yards, but even destruction can bring some hope.
“It’s devastating these poor people, I just feel really bad for them but we’re here to help out where we can,” said neighbor Ted Clark.
UMBC was holding graduation at the time of the severe weather. Sirens were sounded across campus — an all clear was given just before 4 p.m.
An all clear has been given for the previous tornado warning. The 4 p.m. undergraduate ceremony is getting underway. Thanks for your patience.
— UMBC (@UMBC) May 23, 2019
An all clear has been given for the previous Tornado Warning. You may resume normal activity.
— UMBC Police Dept. (@UMBCpolice) May 23, 2019
— Mister_B (@MBafford22) May 23, 2019
NOW: Storms rip across the Baltimore-Washington corridor, including two possible tornadoes in Montgomery and Howard counties and Washington, DC. This is storm damage along New Hampshire Avenue near the village of Sunshine, Montgomery County: pic.twitter.com/mahnHuhfn8
— Bill Rehkopf (@BillRehkopf) May 23, 2019
As the strong line of storms moved East, some Anne Arundel County Public Schools delayed dismissal and sheltered in place. Since then they have dismissed students.