A tornado that tore roofs off homes, toppled utility poles and damaged a high school stadium in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Wednesday afternoon was classified as an EF-2 and had winds as high as 125 mph, weather experts said Thursday.
The twister traveled more than 11 miles, the National Weather Service said after surveying the damage left in its path on Thursday.
It tore up parts of West Street in Annapolis.
“The damage is shocking when you come to the street,” Annapolis Mayor Gavin Buckley said. “It does look like you’re in a movie scene here. So, cars and poles down.”
Baltimore Gas and Electric assessed and secured gas leaks and downed power lines, Annapolis Fire Department Lt. Kenneth White said.
“What we’re trying to do is keep everyone back and out of the area until BG&E has secured those gas lines and secure the downed power lines,” White said Wednesday afternoon.
"The gas has now been shut off to the heavily damaged buildings in the area of West Street, and downed wires are being deenergized," BG&E said in a statement Wednesday evening. "Crews will be making repairs where possible. However, in some cases, damage to buildings may be so severe that repairs will not be made until the structures are safe."
No injuries were reported and there were no fires, but the storm did damage properties.
“A few of the buildings collapsed,” White said. “We don’t know how many; we don’t know the extent. But we do have city building inspectors responding to the scene to assess the damages to those buildings.”
“We have power polls down; we have gas leaks; we have roofs off houses; we have trees down,” Buckley said. “Many of the trees – the streets are not accessible. So, we’re asking people to stay home and not come out. Let our emergency crews do their job.”
Buckley asked people with damage to their homes to call the city so officials can make sure they have a safe place to stay.
“I’m just shocked that nobody’s hurt, because we were expecting some fatalities,” he said. “So, we were lucky that that didn’t happen. I don’t know how it didn’t happen, but we are feeling very grateful for that.”
Photos: Remnants of Ida Hit DC Area
The same tornado touched down in the Edgewater area, damaging homes there.
The storm caused extensive damage around the football field of South River High School in Edgewater. A huge tree was uprooted and crashed onto the bleachers. One large limb landed upright in a goal post. The roof over the concession stand was partially ripped off.
Teachers inside the school went to interior hallways and sheltered in place, Anne Arundel County Public Schools spokesman Bob Mosier said.
“We didn’t have anybody hurt. We’re very fortunate,” he said.
The damage came ahead of a school football game planned for Friday, before the first day of school Sept. 8.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said state officials were assessing reports of substantial damage in Annapolis and Edgewater.
“We are working with Anne Arundel County and City of Annapolis officials to assess the damage and determine what further resources are needed on the ground,” the governor said.