A tornado did rip through a section of Camden-Wyoming in Kent County, central Delaware Thursday afternoon, injuring two people and causing damage to 10-15 homes.
The National Weather Service called the storm an EF-1. That produces winds up to close to 100 miles an hour. Colin Faulkner, chief of the Kent County Department of Public Safety, says some of the hard hit areas were struck by straight line winds as well. Both do great destruction and the determination of the exact cause is by examining the impact left on an area.
Governor Jack Markell, D-Del., went along with Faulkner, out going DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara, and State Representative Dave Lawson who has a farm 3 miles from the hit area to tour the damaged area. Markell said he spoke with both of the people injured by the storm. He says both are doing well, but one told him of what happened as the storm hit.
“He said he flew through the air for a few feet at least. He hit the ground and that’s the last thing he remembers,” said Markell.
Faulkner praised the efforts of the first responders in the Marydel Fire District for their fast action. He said crews from Delaware Electric Cooperative were working to restore power in the area.
As WHYY’s Charlie O’Neill photographed the damage today it was amazing to see how some homes could be totally destroyed and others left untouched. One home had its front steps intact as the only reminder of what was once there. There were trees in this established neighborhood which had been uprooted out of the ground.
This is the second time Markell has toured a tornado scene in Delaware. In August 2011 another EF-1 tornado touched down in Lewes. That had grown out the aftermath of Hurricane Irene as it came up the Delaware coast.
To look at the blue skies and small white clouds on Friday it was hard to image how ominous the skies were Thursday. “We were fortunate when you look around and thing, but for the grace of God of what might have happened,” the governor said.
As the group toured the area there were piles of people’s lives stacked up. All those who looked through the rubble stressed how important it was to listen out for tornado watches and warnings. Faulkner stressed that the best thing is to the basement or hide in the smallest room in your home. He added, “if you can’t get to your home go to a place where you can be strapped in and protect your head.”