HOWARD COUNTY, Md. - The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado did touch down in the Howard County area Tuesday afternoon as violent storms swept across the entire state.
The EF-0 tornado, with wind speeds of approximately 80 miles per hour, crossed one mile southwest of Poplar Springs in Howard County from around 1:29 p.m. to 1:48 p.m. Tuesday.
The weather service issued a Tornado Warning across the county at about 1:45 p.m. with radar indicating possible rotation in the heart of the storm.
Cleanup efforts will likely take several days and some residents were still without power on Wednesday. Throughout Howard County, there was a lot of damage caused because of all of the downed trees that took out power poles and power lines. About 30,000 people lost power from the severe storms. As of Wednesday afternoon, there were still about 2,000 people without electricity.
One huge tree uprooted after narrowly missing one house. However, not everyone was as lucky as another tree came crashing down on a house essentially splitting the home in half. There were two people and four dogs inside when that happened.
“We saw a couple of big branches fall right away and the trees just bending, flowers pots just lifted up in the air, just kind of like tossed up into the air,” said Sam Heisig, who lives in the damaged home. “So we knew it wasn’t just a typical storm that we see every once in a while.”
“[The tornado] went through my backyard, tore about 20 trees down, ripped a bunch of shingles off the house,” said Ben Hansen. “All the patio furniture is ripped up. It kind of went over my house. You can see a path from my house.”
“There was a lot of property damage, a lot of trees are down, a lot of roads are mostly cleared out now, but there are still some problems,” said Howard County Executive Allan Kittleman. “People are working hard and the county is working hard to make sure we get people back up and hopefully get the power back for everybody soon.”
The tornado touched down and traveled 13 miles and lasted for almost 20 minutes, which is actually a long time.
Howard County officials said no one was seriously hurt and said that is because people listened to instructions to shelter in place.