A tornado that tore roofs off homes Wednesday afternoon, toppled utility poles and damaged a high school stadium in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, was classified as an EF-2 Wednesday afternoon and had wind speeds of up to 125 mph, weather experts said Thursday.
The twister traveled more than 11 miles, the National Weather Service said after inspecting the damage left in its path Thursday.
The shredded parts of West Street in Annapolis.
“The damage is shocking when you get out on the street,” said Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley. “It’s like being in a movie scene here. So cars and poles down.”
A tornado touched down in Annapolis and Edgewater, Maryland, on Wednesday, damaging homes and businesses.
Baltimore Gas and Electric has assessed and secured gas leaks and cut power lines, Annapolis Fire Department Lieutenant Kenneth White said.
“What we’re trying to do is keep everyone back and out of the area until BG&E has secured those gas lines and the downed power lines,” White said Wednesday afternoon.
“The gas is now cut off to the heavily damaged buildings in the West Street area, and downed wires are being de-energized,” BG&E said in a statement Wednesday night. “Crews will make repairs where possible. However, in some cases, damage to buildings can be so severe that repairs are not made until structures are safe.”
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There were no injuries and no fires, but the storm did damage property.
“A few buildings collapsed,” White said. “We don’t know how much; we don’t know the magnitude. But we do have building inspectors from the city who come to assess the damage to those buildings.”
“We have power polls down; we have gas leaks; we have roofs of houses; we’ve got trees down,” Buckley said. “Lots of trees – the streets are not accessible. So we ask people to stay at home and not come out. Let our emergency services do their job.”
Buckley asked people with damage to their homes to call the city so officials can make sure they have a safe place to stay.
“I’m just shocked that no one got hurt because we expected some fatalities,” he said. “So we were lucky that didn’t happen. I don’t know how it didn’t happen, but we’re very grateful for that.”
Photos: Remains of Ida Hit DC Area
The same tornado touched down in the Edgewater area and damaged homes there.
The storm caused extensive damage around the South River High School football field in Edgewater. A huge tree was uprooted and crashed into the stands. A large limb landed upright in a goalpost. The roof above the concession stand was partially lifted.
Teachers at the school went into interior hallways and sheltered in place, said Bob Mosier, spokesperson for Anne Arundel County Public Schools.
“We didn’t hurt anyone. We’re very lucky,” he said.
The damage came prior to a school football game scheduled for Friday, before the first day of school on September 8.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said state officials were reviewing reports of significant damage in Annapolis and Edgewater.
“We are working with officials from Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis to assess the damage and determine what additional resources are needed on the ground,” the governor said.