Tornado cleanup: ‘Good things come from bad’

What was likely a tornado knocked a decades-old tree onto the roof of Marion Mills’ home sending heavy rains poured through the hole. But despite that, the primary emotion she feels is gratitude.

Mills and her husband survived the storm in Leonardtown, without a scratch, but their Maryland house wasn’t so lucky.

With smoke in the air, as a neighbor across Point Lookout Road burns small tree limbs from the Tuesday morning storm that the National Weather Service preliminarily called one of two tornadoes in the rural county, Mills is counting her blessings.

Wednesday morning, the family’s lawn resembled a lumberyard, with piles of recently-sawed logs.

Logs St. Mary's county tornado
A suspected tornado knocked down 20 trees near a home on Point Lookout Road, in Leonardtown, Maryland.

Soon after fierce winds tore through her yard, destroying about 20 trees — some that predated her 60 years in the home — the cleanup began.

“Dad is an Elk,” grown daughter Dee Meyerhoff said. “We had 8 or 10 guys from the Elks’ Lodge here, helping cut all the trees down, with family and friends.”

Her mother was moved by the generosity.

“Someone ordered nine or 10 pizzas,” Mills said. “Good things come from bad.”

With a blue tarpaulin stretched across part of the roof, the family is working through the inconveniences caused by their temporary extreme bad luck.

“The insurance adjuster is here now, and I’m sure we’ll need a new roof,” Meyerhoff said. “Now I guess we just have to wait for the yard to dry before we can get a chipper shredder out here and get rid of some of the branches.”

Mills and her husband, Charlie, have been told the house is uninhabitable for the time being. Much of the rain coming through the hole in the roof was caught in buckets.

Mills said her family’s photo albums, and other irreplaceable items were spared: “Water didn’t get to those, thank God.”

All in all, Marion Mills says she was lucky.

“This stuff can be cleaned up or repaired, Charlie and I have our lives.”


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This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

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