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Ida’s Aftermath Still Felt in Chesapeake Country

Annapolis, Edgewater residents clean up from 125 mile-per-hour tornado

By Cheryl Costello

Meteorologists warned that the mid-Atlantic region could get hit with severe storms and tornadoes as the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed by, but it’s still hard to believe how dead on that prediction was.

From Edgewater to Parole, a powerful EF-2 tornado, fairly unusual in Maryland, damaged schools and businesses, ripped off roofs, and pulled down power lines. Winds were as high as 125 miles per hour. It’s only the fourth time in a decade that a tornado that powerful formed in our state.

While the storm moved quickly, rebuilding in some places will take time. The Anne Arundel County Fire Department estimates at least 100 homes suffered severe damage. On Rear Admiral Court in Edgewater, daylight was visible from inside homes, with roofs gone and windows shattered.

The South River High School property, which holds five different schools, suffered major damage. Governor Larry Hogan toured the campus, which saw major problems in its football stadium. Tree limbs and debris were everywhere, and the roof of the concession stand twisted right off its base. Inside the Center of Applied Technology South, windows were blown out and ceiling tiles were down.

“This is substantial damage that we need to take care of, but it’s amazing to me that there’s no real structural damage and they didn’t have anyone at all injured or hurt in this.”

The Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. George Arlotto, pledged to have all school facilities repaired in time for students. Students enrolled at CAT-South will remain in their home schools Sept. 9 and 10 with teachers instructing virtually as repairs to the building continue.

On West Street in Annapolis, where the tornado touched down after crossing the South River, inspectors determined three buildings are destroyed and many others have major damage.

The City of Annapolis has set up a specific website to connect residents affected by the tornado: annapolis.gov/1832/Tornado-Response

Mayor Gavin Buckley says residents, business owners and volunteers, along with county and state partners, have all pitched in to help recovery efforts. “This is what Annapolis does. We come together to help one another and it is one of the reasons this is a great city. We are a loving community and when we see a need, we are united,” Buckley said.