Possible tornado strikes Maryland’s Kent Island during night of severe storms
KENT ISLAND, Md. - Officials in Queen Anne's County said luckily only minor injuries were reported after a tornado and other violent thunderstorms pounded the Eastern Shore overnight downing trees, causing power outages and leaving some residents sheltering in place.
FOX 5’s Melanie Alnwick was in Bay City on Maryland’s Kent Island Monday where residents were being asked to shelter in place following the storm. An extensive command post was in place as search operations were being conducted in the Bay City area.
Officials said approximately 8,000 residents were without power at 6:30 a.m. Downed power lines were a major safety concern and were the reason residents were being asked to stay inside. Local leaders were concerned about elderly residents who may not have access to drinking water or air conditioning. Initial reports of gas line issues are no longer a concern.
Authorities warned residents to treat all downed power lines as live power lines as the cleanup continued and advised residents who did not need to leave home not to.
The Bay Bridge was temporarily closed overnight due to the severe weather.
Aerial images over Kent Island showed several homes that were completely destroyed by the intense storm system.
The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado did touch down near Stevensville in Queen Anne's County. FOX 5's Mike Thomas said that at around 1:30 a.m., high velocity winds hit the Stevensville and Kent Island areas. The highest winds gust reported out of the storms occurred around 1:30 a.m. at 68 mph in the Annapolis neighborhood of Eastport before the storm crossed the Chesapeake Bay.
An emergency shelter will be open for those affected by storm at the Centreville Middle School located at 231 Ruthsburg Road in Centreville, Maryland. The shelter will accept pets. The Animal Welfare League in Queenstown is also available to shelter pets if needed. Red Cross personnel are also on hand to help with residents.
Drivers can expect major traffic delays in the Stevensville and Kent Island areas while cleanup takes place. The Maryland Transportation Authority put the Rt. 18/ Bay Bridge emergency plan into place around noon Monday to try and clear the traffic jams in Stevensville. Under the plan:
* The Ramp from 50 Eastbound to Rt 8 will be closed.
* The Ramp from 50 Westbound to Rt 8 will only allow northbound traffic.
* The Ramp off 50 to Duke Street will be closed.
Motorists who live South on Rt 8:
* Coming East you will need to take Thompson Creek exit and use the access road to Rt. 8 where residents will be screened.
* Coming West you will need to Rt 8 North and then turn around in the business park to hit Rt. 8 South.
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