Queen Anne's County tornado victims discuss damage, options

14 homes destroyed, 155 buildings damaged
Posted at 11:21 PM, Aug 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-02 23:21:22-04

Dozens of tornado victims, concerned residents and representatives from Emergency Management organizations met Wednesday to discuss last Monday's devastating storm.

The EF-2 tornado destroyed 14 homes, 1 business, and damaged 155 other buildings, according to Queen Anne's County EMA. 

One them belonged to Jessica Testerman who explained that her home should count as a business too.

"For 25 years I've lived there," she said. "I've done daycare for 12 years."

Testerman says she hid in the bathroom with her kids as the storm ripped her home off the ground.

"We literally did go up in the air," she said. "One side moved about 20 feet off the foundation. The other side moved about 7 feet."

County emergency officials said they would connect her with state resources for small business owners. Others at the meeting asked for help with insurance, construction permits, and fallen trees.

Others came to the meeting to find out how they can help.

"I've lived on Kent Island for 20 years and have never seen anything like this," said resident Jon Khlok.

Khlok and his wife, Angelina, were spared from the worst damage, but have neighbors who lost everything. The couple has already chipped in to buy furniture for neighbors whose townhomes have been flattened by the tornado.

"They all have pretty young children for the most part, so it's very overwhelming to think what they're going through right now," said Angelina Khlok.

Despite the heartbreak, the gymnasium at Matapeake Elementary erupted in applause several times in support of County first responders. Resident John McCay says they stepped up when the community needed them most.

"Our county deserves a tip of the cap for what they've done through whole event," said McKay.

A disaster center is operating at Matapeake Elementary for anyone who still needs help or supplies. The County says it will remain open through Thursday evening.