Tornado sprints through Baltimore suburb, leaving widespread tree damage

Over 100 trees were damaged when a tornado briefly touched down north of Baltimore, Maryland on Thursday.

The National Weather Service said that a tornado, rated EF-1 on the enhanced Fujita scale, with peak winds of 95 mph caused extensive tree damage along a two-mile path in and around Jacksonville, which is about 21 miles north of downtown Baltimore.

The tornado was active for less than five minutes, spanning from 4:51 – 4:55 p.m.

EF-1 tornados are classified as tornados with wind speeds between 85 – 110 mph.

A survey team with the NWS said that the tornado started north of the intersection of Merrymans Mill Road and Jarrettsville Pike and moved northeast from there.

It caused the most damage to trees both surrounding and lining Overshot Court. NWS surveyors said about 100 trees were damaged, with many falling in a convergent, crossing manner. Some trees, 10 – 20 inches in diameter, were snapped in two pieces by the conditions.

No one was injured, and only one house suffered damage ranging from losing a portion of its eave and having a shutter blown off to having its siding damaged and its flagpole being blown down, according to NWS.

“Eyewitness accounts were taken from several residents along Overshot Court and all related to a similar story of relatively quiet conditions followed by a loud and incessant roaring sound, with reduced visibility due to heavy rain and swirling winds,” the report said.

One of the residents showed the NWS team that they texted someone at 4:57 p.m. after they had gone down to their basement once they heard a loud roar.

All of those interviewed by NWS said the entire episode lasted less than a minute.

Tree and property damage was also observed on parts of Phoenix, Maryland, including Blenheim Road, Manor Road and Cremson Drive.

On Blenheim Road, a trampoline was blown over 200 yards away and an uprooted tree damaged part of a covered porch.

Another tree was uprooted along Cremson Drive, with the sound resembling a “freight train,” according to a resident’s account in the NWS report.

Matthew Delaney

Matt Delaney is a digital web writer/editor who joined WTOP in 2020.

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