Twisters leave trail of damage in two separate Maryland neighborhoods

Two tornadoes with winds estimated between 80 to 90 mph touched down in different parts of Maryland during Friday’s intense weather, causing damage to vehicles and property.

The National Weather Service said that an EF-1 tornado traveled four miles in about 10 minutes from Charlotte Hall in St. Mary’s County, to near Benedict in Charles County around 8:30 p.m. Friday.

A National Weather Service analysis confirmed an EF-1 tornado damaged neighborhoods between Charlotte Hall and Benedict, Maryland, on May 27, 2022. (WTOP/Dave Dildine)

One house suffered damage from a fallen tree near the intersection of Chappelear Drive and Mount Wolf Road. Another home had its siding damaged and windows broken from falling branches near White Drive.

Most of the damage done by the tornado was the roughly two dozen trees it uprooted as it traveled northeast between the two towns.

Manny Centeno lives in the area of that tornado in Hughesville.

“One side of the house has sustained a good amount of damage and the other side doesn’t look like anything happened at all,” Centeno said. “One tree virtually fell on the house, it kind of went across the front of the garage door tore out the electric meter. Took a bunch of light fixtures that were on the outside out and damaged the siding on both sides on two sides.”

Centeno said dozens and dozens of trees in his backyard fell down.

Overall, he said he feels very lucky.

“Had it been a couple 100 more yards to the north and west, maybe the story would have been different. I was very lucky,” Centeno said.

Another tornado affected Olney in Montgomery County, beginning in the 3600 block of Toddsbury Lane, where tree limbs damaged vehicles in a cul-de-sac.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said some homes were occupied, but residents received a Tornado Warning in time and took appropriate action.

A handful of neighbors were temporarily displaced.

Around the same time, 12 to 15 trees — some with diameters up to 2 feet — were uprooted by the strong winds and fell along walking paths between Toddsbury Lane and adjacent Queen Elizabeth Drive.

The uprooted trees also left limited damage to vehicles and residences along Queen Elizabeth Drive.

Eyewitness accounts of the event said there was “a swirling of debris” on the Toddsbury Lane cul-de-sac. The NWS estimated winds to have reached 80 mph due to the uprooting of both “hardwood and softwood” trees in the path.

There were no reported injuries from Friday’s tornadoes.

Matthew Delaney

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

Joshua Barlow

Joshua Barlow is a writer, composer, and producer who has worked for CGTN, Atlantic Public Media, and National Public Radio. He lives in Northeast Washington, D.C., where he pays attention to developments in his neighborhood, economic issues, and social justice.

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