EF2 Tornado Devastates Kent Island with 125-mph Winds

 Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford surveys the damage

Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford surveys the damage

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirms an EF2 tornado hit Bay City, near Stevensville in Queen Anne's County, around 1:30 a.m. Monday morning, with maximum winds estimated at 125 miles per hour.

According to the NWS in Mount Holly, New Jersey, a waterspout developed over the Bay between Annapolis and Stevensville, then moved ashore to become a tornado. The twister traveled about two miles northeast, and was on the ground for four minutes.

And in those four minutes, the NWS reports, "Several wood framed townhomes had the upper floors entirely lifted off along with the roof; several other homes had either roofs lifted off and tossed, or received other damage. One business was destroyed. There was one injury to a person who was punctured by debris. In addition, there were trees and power lines down and some gas leaks were reported along with a structure fire to a home."

Among the damage the NWS noted was a church roof ripped off, a warehouse destroyed, metal power poles blown off their foundations, and countless townhomes damaged or destroyed.

Just after the tornado hit, at least 8,000 people were without power in Queen Anne's County. But 48 hours later, fewer than 100 were still in the dark.

Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford toured the damage, and posted this update on Facebook: "I visited Stevensville this morning to meet with local leaders and residents impacted by the severe storms. I had the opportunity to tour the damage from above in a Maryland State Police helicopter, and - most importantly - to thank our first responders for their tremendous work helping to get this community back on its feet...The state stands ready to assist in any way needed as the community works to rebuild."

Queen Anne's County Commissioners say ice and bottled water were distributed at Matapeake Elementary School, along with a Verizon charging station set up. And an emergency shelter at Centreville Middle School was open to residents for two days following the storm.

For anyone hoping to help with necessities for those affected by the storm, an official donation site has been established at the Kent Island Methodist Church, 2739 Cox Neck Road Chester, MD 21619. Donations will be accepted Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. at the church office building. For more information contact Pastor Amor Woolsey at 410-643-5361 or by email at amor@kiumc.org
Organizers are asking that no clothing be donated at this point.

Megan Viviano