- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 2, 2021

The remnants of Hurricane Ida whipped up two tornadoes and caused flooding in the Washington region that left at least one person dead and thousands without power as the storm raked the area Wednesday.

The National Weather Service confirmed Thursday evening that two tornadoes hit Maryland Wednesday afternoon, one in Annapolis in Anne Arundel County and the other one in Edgemere in Baltimore County. 

The EF-0 tornado in Edgemere had estimated wind peaks of 85 mph, a maximum width of 75 yards and a path length of 6.7 miles, causing some trees to snap. The EF-2 tornado in Annapolis caused more destruction with estimated wind peaks of 125 mph, a maximum width of 200 yards and a path length of 11.25 miles. 

John Gresiak, senior meteorologist at Accuweather, described the tornado in Anne Arundel County near Annapolis as “pretty strong,” saying it caused a good deal of damage to buildings and knocked down trees and power lines.

The NWS said the tornado also ripped the roofs off of three residences. 

The Maryland State Highway Administration responded to 283 incidents involving high water, tree removal, crashes and disabled vehicles, and helped utility companies with downed poles and wires, according to a Thursday update from Gov. Larry Hogan.

State police responded to 163 crashes and 34 disabled or abandoned vehicles, and answered 789 calls for help during the tropical storm.

“The extent of the destruction from the storm is devastating, but these are strong communities, and we will provide whatever state resources are needed to help them rebuild,” Mr. Hogan said. “We will continue to assess the damage, and coordinate closely with federal, state, and local officials in the days ahead.”

Heavy rains flooded multiple units at Rock Creek Woods apartment complex in Rockville early Wednesday, causing the death of an unidentified 19-year-old male, the Montgomery County Police reported. The storm flooded 12 apartments and affected about 50 units, displacing about 150 residents.

The Annapolis Fire Department reported several gas leaks Wednesday evening, saying a couple thousand businesses and residents were without power. Baltimore Gas and Electric worked on the leaks and labored throughout the evening to restore power and remove debris on West Street, the fire department said.

Mr. Rosa said various parts of the region saw 2 to 4 inches of rain, although parts of western and central Maryland experienced 6 to 8 inches of rainfall.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport recorded about an inch of rain, while Baltimore Washington International-Thurgood Marshall Airport reported just over 2 inches, Mr. Gresiak said.

The meteorologist said while rainfall amounts weren’t “exceptional” in most parts of the D.C. region, the trouble was that it fell in a relatively short amount of time, resulting in some flash-flooding especially around smaller streams, creeks and roadways.

Crews were investigating substantial storm damage in the area of Londontown, Mayo and Edgewater, but no injuries were reported, the Anne Arundel County Fire Department said Wednesday afternoon.

County Executive Steuart Pittman tweeted that Edgewater and Annapolis have “suffered substantial damage,” with upwards of 100 homes and businesses affected and nearly 4,000 power outages in the county. He said crews were clearing roads blocked by downed branches and wires.

“Our residents whose homes and businesses have been destroyed are in shock, and we are evaluating assistance opportunities,” Mr. Pittman tweeted.

The Frederick County Fire Department said a total of 83 roads were closed, 17 water rescues were conducted and 39 flooding condition service calls were received in 24 hours, WTOP reported.

Schools in the region including Baltimore, Harford and Howard counties decided to close early Wednesday due to the poor weather. All D.C. and Frederick County public schools also canceled classes.

Ida landed Sunday in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane before traveling along the Northeast as a tropical storm.

• Shen Wu Tan can be reached at stan@washingtontimes.com.

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