- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

MARYDEL, Del. (AP) - A tornado was embedded in a storm that damaged about a dozen homes in central Delaware, leaving two people injured, authorities said Friday.

Joe Miketta, a National Weather Service meteorologist who visited the site near Marydel after Thursday night’s storm, said evidence indicated that the damage was caused by straight-line winds and a tornado likely embedded within those winds.

Miketta described the twister as likely an EF-1 tornado, which can pack wind speeds ranging from 86 to 110 mph. He estimated that it was on the ground for no more than two minutes.

“This was too wide for just a tornado,” Miketta said of the path of damage. He noted that many trees were knocked down in the same direction, but that there also was evidence of more “chaotic damage” indicative of a tornado, and that radar images showed strong circulation in the area at the time.

The only reported injuries were a couple, both aged 51, whose mobile home was lifted off its foundation and flipped by high winds, crashing down in a jangled pile of splinters and metal a few yards away.

Gov. Jack Markell said he talked to the couple on his way to visit the damage site Friday.

“They sounded OK. Obviously incredibly shaken up,” he said.

Markell said the injured man told him “he was hanging on for dear life.”

“He flew through the air,” Markell said. “He doesn’t know how far he flew, but we know he hit the ground really hard, and that’s really the last thing he remembers.”

Kent County emergency management director Colin Faulkner said two of the damaged homes have been condemned, and that three others sustained significant damage.

“We’re very lucky that we did not have any serious injuries,” he said.


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