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Tornado tracks through southern Maryland Friday

Saturday - 2/22/2014, 9:34am  ET

WASHINGTON -- The National Weather Service has determined that a weak tornado tracked across southern Maryland Friday afternoon. The tornado carved a narrow strip of sporadic tree and power line damage through central St. Mary's County, and extreme southern Calvert County. There were no reported injuries.

The information released is considered preliminary but if it stands, it would be only the second time on record that a tornado has ever touched down in Maryland during the month of February.

The tornado tracked from Breton Bay through Medley's Neck toward Route 5 around 12:23 p.m. At nearby Leonardtown High School, students were ordered to seek shelter.

The tornado crossed Saint Andrews Church Road where numerous trees and power lines were downed. A worker at the Coulombs Bus & Truck Services off Fairgrounds Road said the wind and rain was intense but only last for about four to ten minutes.

"We work inů aluminum buildings. When it came, it came hard and fast. You definitely felt the buildings shake."

The tornado then moved through the Wildewood area in California, Md. Kathy Berg manages the Villages of Wildewood Retirement Community.

"We have lots of trees down. Most of the roads here [were] blocked."

She said a few residents called her to report trees down but no structural damage had been reported.

"I saw great winds come through, swirling of the trees. We have two double automatic doors here and the winds blew them open and that caused a huge glass vase floral arrangement about 10 feet from the entrance to crash onto the floor," said Berg.

After crossing Route 235, the storm tracked over the Patuxent River just north of the Thomas Johnson Bridge and into southern Calvert County around 12:30 p.m. Some trees were reported toppled near Cove Point. An offshore buoy located three miles east of the Cove Point Lighthouse recorded a wind gust to 60 miles per hour as the storm moved over the open waters of the Chesapeake.

The tornado was rated an EF-0, the weakest on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with estimated winds up to 80 miles per hour.

The National Weather Service did not conduct a ground survey but based their assessment on a correlation between the timing and quantity of damage reports from county officials and data provided by weather radar which showed strong rotation above the ground.

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