Tornado hits southern Md. counties

Photo: Brad Freitas

COMPTON, Md. (AP/WJLA) - The National Weather Service says a tornado hit St. Mary's and Calvert counties in southern Maryland, knocking down trees along an 18-mile path. There were no injuries reported.

The weather service say the tornado occurred from 12:23 p.m. to 12:39 p.m. Friday and traveled from Compton in St. Mary's County to Cove Point in Calvert County.

The tornado had wind speeds of 60 to 80 mph, making it an EF0 on the enhanced Fujita scale.

The storm sent school children into hallways, others into basements and left a path of downed trees for miles.{ }

Leonardtown appears to have taken the hardest hit.{ }

“Just a big roar and then about 50 mile per hour winds,” says Douglas Owens of Leonardtown.{ }

“I could hear it coming,” says Bonnie Reinhart. “It got really loud and I asked my other daughter to go ahead and get into the basement.”{ }

The center of the storm appeared to pass right over Leonardtown High School.

“They saw stuff flying and so they were getting the kids out of the room quickly,” says Gina Clark, a teacher at Leonardtown.

“They just asked us to file out of the classroom and sit in the hallway with our backs against the wall,” says Samantha Reinhart, a junior.

The storm knocked out power at the school and the surrounding area. It ripped the cover off Reinhart’s dad’s truck.

“There were pieces scattered way over there by the bushes," she says.

It hit so fast some people didn’t have time to get to a safe place. Roxanne Pilkerton tried to make it home, but falling trees all around trapped her in her car.

“There were trees all over the road and it scared me to death,” she says. “There were branches hitting my car.”