The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado hit Southern Maryland at the tail end of a storm that passed through the Washington region Friday afternoon, knocking down trees and power lines as it brought brief severe weather conditions to the area around Leonardtown.
The damage, mostly near the St. Mary’s County Fairgrounds, came amid a tornado watch in the area.
The tornado was classified as an EF0, indicating it had wind speeds of 65 to 85 miles per hour, the least-powerful category. The National Weather Service said the tornado left intermittent damage along an 18-mile path from Compton, in St. Mary’s County, to Cove Point, in Calvert County. There were approximately 15 damage reports and no reports of injuries, and the tornado was estimated to have lasted for 16 minutes, ending at 12:39 p.m.
Capt. Tommy Mattingly, of the Leonardtown Volunteer Fire Department, said his station had run five calls for downed power lines and trees blocking roadways by early Friday afternoon. Most of the calls came from an area just south of Leonardtown on Route 4 near the fairgrounds.
“We got calls mostly for trees blocking roadways, and one of them barely struck a bus,” Mattingly said. “The tree put one little ding on the bus.”
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said officials received reports of downed power lines and trees on some of the roads, but little damage, said Tony Jones, a county spokesman.
The Bay District Volunteer Fire Department answered about three or four calls Friday afternoon, also for downed trees and power lines, according to Station No. 9 firefighter Nick Harrison.