‘I Ran for Cover': Apparent Tornadoes Cause Significant Damage in Maryland

Large trees toppled over and roof shingles were torn off of several homes in Bowie

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Two tornadoes appear to have touched down in Maryland Tuesday evening as storms with heavy rainfall moved through the D.C. region.

Storm Team4 Meteorologist Amelia Draper said weather officials confirmed a tornado in Shady Side, Maryland, a small community on the coast in Anne Arundel County.

Earlier, about 5:45 p.m., another tornado was spotted in the Bowie area. An off-duty meteorologist reported a funnel cloud, the National Weather Service said. Winds as fast as 80 mph were reported in a commercial area near fast food restaurants and home improvement stores, Draper said.

“I noticed how it got real dark, and the wind picked up really, really strong,” John Dallas said.

“What really scared me is when I saw this greenhouse — it just lifted right up. And that’s what got me really scared. And when I saw this big tree here rocking back and forth — that’s when I ran for cover,” he continued.

A tornado uprooted trees and stunned some residents of Bowie, Maryland, and a major cleanup effort will be underway Wednesday. News4's Megan McGrath reports.

Another resident said he was in disbelief that a tornado could strike Bowie until he saw a trampoline go flying and trees fall in his yard.

“I was joking with my older brother because, like, you get those warnings, right, and tornadoes don’t hit Bowie. Like three minutes later, I watched my trampoline go flying through my fence. And trees started knocking over.”

Three huge trees went down in his yard, and members of a Boy Scouts troop came with chainsaws to help the cleanup.

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks surveyed the damage and said it was “amazing” that no one was injured.

Bowie officials are expected to announce a special cleanup plan on Wednesday.

Officials will later assess the damage to confirm the tornadoes and their strength.

Video from Chopper4 shows large trees completely uprooted, fencing damaged and roof shingles torn off of homes in a residential neighborhood south of Bowie High School. A mangled trampoline could be seen leaning against the back of one home.

A News4 viewer took the following video at a shopping center in the Bowie area:

City of Bowie officials said "The City has received many reports of uprooted trees, downed powerlines, power outages, and some damage to homes as a result of this severe weather."

As of 6:20 p.m., there were no reports of injuries in Prince George's County, a spokesperson for the county fire department said.

The storms were moving out of the area and into the Chesapeake Bay by about 7 p.m.

Wednesday will be hot again, and there will be another chance for storms in the 4 to 8 p.m. window.

Stay with News4 for updates to this developing story.

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