Tornado tally at 19 for Maryland and Virginia
By Martin Weil,
At least 19 tornadoes touched down in Maryland and Virginia during last week’s deadly national outbreak, according to the National Weather Service.
At least two in Virginia caused fatalities, and a third, in the northern Shenandoah Valley, caused “nearly continuous damage” over a 33-mile path, the service said.
With storm assessments not yet complete, twisters have been confirmed in Prince George’s and Prince William counties. Another hit in St. Mary’s County and two more in Carroll and Baltimore counties in Maryland, all within 60 or 70 miles of Washington.
Four more occurred in a broad strip of central Virginia between Washington and Richmond: two in Hanover County, one in Caroline County and one in Goochland County, mainly west of Interstate 95, according to the weather service’s storm reports.
The twister Wednesday evening in Prince George’s was among the weakest of the two-day outbreak, with a maximum wind speed of 70 mph, according to the weather service.
But it damaged roofing and siding, and it uprooted and snapped numerous trees on path of almost a mile about 7:15 p.m.
No wider than 100 yards, it began just southwest of Auth and Allentown roads and raced onto Andrews Air Force Base.
Late Wednesday, another slightly stronger twister touched down in Prince William, west of Manassas, in the Bristow area, the weather service said.
It damaged roofs and siding on homes in the New Bristow Village section, then headed north, damaging a fence, signs and small trees near a shopping center. It crossed Linton Hall Road, snapped more trees and lifted off the ground.
Thursday morning’s St. Mary’s tornado was stronger, with winds estimated as high as 90 mph and a 3.3-mile track.
It blew a cinderblock wall from a storage shed, damaged the shed roof and harmed other roofs and siding.
The powerful Shenandoah Valley tornado, EF2 on the tornado scale, packed winds as high as 130 mph as it ripped its way across Rockingham and Shenandoah counties, from Fulks Run to St. Luke, about 90 miles from the District.
In 13 destructive minutes, beginning at 2:12 a.m., the weather service said, it ripped the roofs off of barns and homes, snapped and uprooted hundreds of trees, demolished a mobile home, flung a half-ton piece of machinery 200 yards and broke up many sheds.
According to the weather service, damage was worst just east of Orkney Springs, Basye and the Bryce Resort.
An 82-year-old woman was injured by flying debris. A 26-year-old woman suffered minor injuries when she fell while fleeing.
Fatalities were attributed to an EF3 tornado in Washington County, Va., about 300 miles southwest of Washington, and to another twister in Halifax County, Va., about 200 miles southwest of Washington.