The National Weather Service confirmed Thursday that a tornado touched down in Howard County, the second one in seven days.
A friend warned Angela Butler, of Dayton, Maryland, of a storm headed toward her area in Howard County on Thursday. Then, she looked out the window and saw the sheets of rain and swirling winds, prompting her to head toward her home’s basement.
“It was coming toward me,” Butler said, recounting Thursday’s confirmed tornado. “I actually saw something big swirling above, up high … I was scared to death. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever experienced.”
Though her home’s roof was damaged only slightly with a few shingles being blown away, Butler said she couldn’t see her driveway Friday morning. Power lines and trees were toppled over most of her driveway as well as her neighbor’s backyard.
Meteorologist James Lee from the National Weather Service said that a tornado touched down around 1 mile southwest of the Glenelg area at 3:22 p.m. Thursday.
“We saw radar rotation signature as well as what we call a debris ball signature from our own radar here in Sterling, Virginia. And we went ahead and declared it a tornado. We’re not going to know the details until (Friday) morning when we actually get out there and start surveying and looking at the damage in person,” Lee said.
NWS crews are surveying Frederick County, Maryland, in Ijamsville on Friday and Spotsylvania County, Virginia for possible tornadoes.
On Thursday, Tornado warnings were issued for Howard, Frederick, and Anne Arundel counties in Maryland; and for Spotsylvania County in Virginia, Thursday due to severe weather.
A wind gust of 71 mph was reported in Gainesville in Prince William County, Virginia. At Davison Army Airfield east of Lorton, winds gusted to 66 mph. A 52-mph wind gust was reported at Reagan National Airport, The Associated Press reported.
Heavy rain and strong wind gusts, as well as some hail barraged the area causing damage, power outages, downed trees and road closures in counties in both states.
Fallen trees have been reported in Montgomery, Howard, Prince George’s counties and Baltimore in Maryland; and in Fairfax, Prince William, Fauquier counties in Virginia, according to a NWS storm report. A tree fell on a house on the 3200 block of Maygreen Avenue in Prince George’s County. A house on the 400 block of Maryland Route 32 suffered roof damage.
The storms knocked out power in the area.
In Howard County, where 1,000 BGE customers are still without power as of 11:30 a.m., Folly Quarter Middle School, Crestwood Middle School and Clarksville Middle School are closed Friday due to the outages.
As of 9:30 a.m. Friday, 600 Dominion Energy customers in Northern Virginia are in the dark, mostly in Fairfax County. Dominion expects to have power restored by 7 p.m. Friday.
WTOP’s John Domen reported from Howard County, Maryland. WTOP’s Jack Pointer and Mike Murillo and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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