- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 19, 2002

A tornado touched down again in Charles County, Md., yesterday morning, this time causing minor damage and power outages. It was the second tornado to strike the Southern Maryland county in three weeks.
Winds as high as 112 mph blew down trees and power lines and ripped shingles and screens off homes, said county and weather officials. Several boats on the Wicomico River were damaged, and two barns and a small shed were badly damaged.
There were no reported injuries or deaths.
The tornado's path ended three miles south of La Plata, the town where a devastating Force 4 tornado touched down on April 28, killing five persons and destroying scores of houses and other structures.
Yesterday's storm was minor compared "to what happened on the 28th," said Don McGuire, Charles County's director of emergency services.
A National Weather Service surveyor who investigated the storm reported that the tornado struck about 7:30 a.m. 10 miles south of La Plata. It was, at most, a Force 1 tornado, according to Jim Wiesmueller, a staff meteorologist in the weather service's Sterling office.
The April 28 tornado produced winds that reached 268 mph.
The tornado crossed the Potomac River at Pope's Creek Road in Faulkner, Md., according to Nina Voehl, a county spokeswoman. It then traveled northeast along Route 234, or Budds Creek Road, and moved on to Calvert County.
"This was nothing that caused any massive destruction to a house," Mrs. Voehl said. "This was almost like having a heavy rain storm."
The shed that was damaged was located in the small community of Keechland Farm, in the Popes Creek area, Mr. McGuire said.
The two barns were less than a half mile apart and just off Budds Creek Road at the intersection of Penn's Hill Road, Mr. McGuire said.
Mr. McGuire said volunteers from churches and other civic groups will mobilize today in seven neighborhoods to clean up debris from the tornado.
Workers cleared brush yesterday, he said. Remaining clean-up includes stumps and small trees.
"There's not a heckuva lot," Mr. McGuire said. "Most of all that brush has been picked up."
"It's tornado season right now," said Julie Arthur, Sterling's lead meteorologist. "Warm air moving in replaces cold air masses of the winter."


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