Weather service investigates possible tornado in Howard Co.

Storm damage in Woodbine, Md. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Whatever tore along Woodbine Road snapped and uprooted trees. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
Part of the investigation into possible tornadic activity involves looking at the damage. Here, a car and riding lawn mower on Starting Gate Court are exposed after the garage was blown to pieces. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
Ken Widelski, left, watches as Melissa Beall marks the damage on a map. Widelski spent Tuesday compiling data for the National Weather Service. It could determine as early as Wednesday if the storm was in fact a tornado. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)
Damage from the possible tornado is seen in Woodbine, Md. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Here's what the debris the suspected tornado left behind looks like the morning after. (WTOP/Nick Iannelli)
Storm damage in Woodbine, Md. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
A view of the storm in Woodbine, Md. around 7 p.m., looking south from Interstate 70 about a half a mile east of the MD Route 94/Woodbine Road exit. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)
Trees along Woodbine Road did not withstand the storm very well. (WTOP/Andrew Mollenbeck)

WOODBINE, Md. – The National Weather Service is surveying a portion of Howard County Tuesday where a suspected tornado is thought to have touched down during the previous day’s storms.

“From the ground perspective, you’re trying to figure out what direction the wind came from and how strong the wind must have been to cause that particular damage,” said Chris Strong with the National Weather Service, who likens weather service investigations to those done by the National Transportation Safety Board after major crashes.

Weather service crews are in the quiet town of Woodbine, Md., where the possible tornado barreled through, damaging a number of trees and bringing down limbs around 6:30 p.m. Monday.

“When you get a totality of all the damage that occurred in a particular area matched up with the radar and observations and any eyewitness reports, then you can put together a picture of what happened,” Strong said.

An outbuilding on Starting Gate Court near Maryland Route 94 was destroyed. The contents of the garage were blown into nearby lawns.

“The storm just came so fast, I didn’t even have time to think,” says Dennis Davison.

His garage and shed were demolished by the severe weather.

“We saw what appeared to be a funnel cloud touch down. We could see the shingles and stuff in the air flying in a circular pattern,” Davison said.

“It carried stuff a half a mile down the road,” he said.

Woodbine resident Paul Martin took this video of a funnel cloud Monday:

Farther northeast, an area of concentrated storm damage was visible near the intersection of Florence Road and Jennings Chapel Road. Several mature hardwood trees were toppled and the front lawns of a few houses were seen littered with debris.

The winds moved a car and heavy pieces of machinery including a 1,500-pound lawn mower.

“It sounded like a freight train coming at the house,” said Gerry Anderson, who lives in the area.

The National Weather Service also says a tornado was reported near Sykesville, Md., although the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office said it could not be confirmed.

Portions of the D.C. area remained under flood warnings Tuesday morning.

Check out the path of the Howard County storm:

View Woodbine Unconfirmed Tornado in a larger map

WTOP’s Dave Dildine, Nick Iannelli and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up