Boats in dry dock at Knapps Narrows Marina toppled over in Monday night's storm. Photo: Milissa Whitlock

Severe Storms Destroy Homes, Toss Boats in Tilghman Island

A wild storm tore through the Tilghman Island area of Maryland’s Eastern Shore on Monday evening, taking down trees and power lines, damaging buildings, and knocking boats all over the boatyard at Knapps Narrows Marina.

Talbot County Emergency Services reports that the storm came through around 7 p.m. Monday, July 3, and storm damage reports poured in almost immediately.

The National Weather Service reported that one wind gust reached 83 miles per hour.

Two homes were deemed uninhabitable and Emergency Services officials found 20 cases of moderate damage when they surveyed the area Tuesday morning.

Trees snapped or were bare of branches around Tilghman Island. Photo: Milissa Whitlock

Multiple power lines were downed on Island Creek and Coopertown roads, emergency crews reported. Power outages were widespread on Monday night into Tuesday, but almost all Delmarva Power customers had been restored by Tuesday night.

While Talbot County Public Works crews spent their Fourth of July, clearing trees from roadways and public property, assessing the damage was still underway.

One particularly hard hit area was Knapps Narrows Marina. Photos and video show multiple sailboats and powerboats that had been in dry dock, tossed onto the boatyard grounds.

Milissa Whitlock was getting read to have dinner on her boat, docked at a floating pier at the marina. The storm came in quickly and surprised her and the other six boats she was traveling with.

Whitlock says it’s the strongest storm she has experienced in her years of boating.

“I have been in really strong thunderstorms water on the water. This has them all beat,” she tells Bay Bulletin.

Tilghman Island was forced to cancel its Fourth of July parade on Tuesday as cleanup continued and local emergency crews continued the cleanup effort.

“We would like to thank our volunteer fire departments throughout the county for responding to numerous incidents related to the storm, including several trees into homes, three structure fires, and lightning strikes,” said Department of Emergency Services (DES) Director Brian LeCates. “Thank you to the Sheriff’s Office and Roads Department for their hard work assisting, and Delmarva Power for their quick and effective response.” 

-Meg Walburn Viviano