PHOENIX, Md. — Heavy equipment converged on overshot court in Phoenix where the storms served up a direct hit, uprooting trees and snapping some off like twigs.
Dorothea Chiamulera says she opened her back door during the downpour and felt the storm’s fury.
“I couldn’t see anything,” said Chiamulera, “The wind was whipping. The sound… you could hear cracking and loud noises, and I slammed the door and I went to the basement.”
The National Weather Service dispatched longtime inspector Steven Zubrick to the area today to look for signs of a tornado, but at this point, whatever you designate it takes a back seat to the damage it caused.
“I’ve seen just severe thunderstorm winds with no rotation do incredible damage for example, the derecho in 2012. That was impressive and there were no tornadoes there,” said Zubrick, “and then I’ve seen little tornadoes that pop up and they do very concentrated damage in a very small area, but if you’re in that area, you are residents, it can do a lot of damage.”
On nearby Robcaste Road, a large tree came down on a house, taking out much of the roof, damaging the foundation and forcing the owners from their home highlighting the power and the danger, which can come in an instant.
“When all the neighbors started to emerge, everybody seemed to be home and a few cars were stuck up there right before all of this happened,” said Chiamulera, “so we’re very relieved that it’s just property damage pretty much.”
While it’s based in Sterling, Virginia, the National Weather Service says it was monitoring Doppler Radar out of BWI Airport yesterday when it saw the conditions, which prompted it to issue the tornado warning giving people plenty of time to seek shelter before it actually hit here.
The National Weather Service confirmed that a tornado touched down in Baltimore County on Thursday.