May 31, 2019
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412\
ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Yesterday, a tornado warning was issued for Howard County at approximately 3:22 PM and the warning expired at 3:45 PM. The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down near Glenelg, causing over 3,000 homes to lose power and over 30 roads to close. The Department of Public Works, Bureau of Highways reports significant damage to their Dayton facility, but no injuries. This is Howard County’s second tornado in a week following an EF-1 tornado in Howard County, in the Clarksville area, on May 23.
“Thank you to all of our dedicated county employees for responding to this weather event and for their work every day to keep our community safe. Thankfully, we have not gotten reports of any serious injuries,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “These weather events remind us all to remain vigilant and prepared. We are fortunate to have such dedicated folks with the Police Department, Fire & Rescue, Public Works, Rec & Parks, Emergency Management, and more who serve our county.”
This morning, emergency responders continue to survey the county for any damage. All emergencies, including any debris blocking public roadways, should be reported by calling 9-1-1.
“Today, our cleanup work continues. We are just finishing our efforts regarding last week’s tornado and we expect to complete our new cleanup efforts over the next week,” said Bureau of Highways Chief Kris Jagarapu. “We have about 60 crew members working hard to clear all roads of debris. We advise all residents with debris on private property to take it to the landfill or bundle it for yard waste collection.”
“We are encouraging residents to take steps to form an emergency plan,” said Fire & Rescue Services Deputy Chief William Anuszewski. “If you are in a tornado warning, go to your basement, safe room, or an interior room away from windows. Don't forget pets if time allows. You can visit Ready.gov/Tornadoes to find a preparation checklist, safety tips, and helpful links.”
Residents can the following steps to prepare:
- Know the signs of a tornado, including a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud; an approaching cloud of debris; or a loud roar—similar to a freight train.
- Sign up for Emergency Alerts on your phone.
- Pay attention to weather reports. Meteorologists can predict when conditions might be right for a tornado.
- Identify and practice going to a safe shelter in the event of high winds, such as a safe room built using FEMA criteria or a storm shelter built to ICC 500 standards. The next best protection is a small, interior, windowless room on the lowest level of a sturdy building.