National Weather Service Confirms Tornado Touched Down Friday in Fallston

From Harford County Government:

The National Weather Service confirmed Saturday that an F1 tornado passed through Harford County Friday evening, June 1, 2012. The storm, with winds up to nearly 100 mph caused severe property damage in the Fallston area of the county.

Approximately 60 volunteer fire and rescue personnel from several fire companies in the county responded to the primary incident located in the 2000 block of Bel Air Road in Fallston. Firefighters worked for nearly eight hours conducting search and rescue operations among other calls for service following touch down of the tornado.

Three civilians were injured during the storm; one was transported to Shock Trauma in Baltimore, one was transported to Franklin Square and the third individual received medical treatment on his own. There were no reported injuries to fire and rescue personnel.

Harford County Executive David R. Craig received an initial briefing on the nature and severity of the incident at the Harford County Division of Emergency Operations and then responded to the incident command center on Bel Air Road for a first-hand view of the storm damage. County Executive Craig received a briefing from the incident commander, and met with Director Kenneth J. Mellette of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency. County Executive Craig also spoke by phone with Governor O’Malley and provided the governor with an overview of the incident.

At the height of the storm approximately 26,000 residents and businesses lost power. Electrical service was restored to all customers by mid-day Sunday, June 3, 2012.

On Sunday, June 03, 2012 Emergency Manager Rick Ayers of the Harford County Division of Emergency Operations and Director of Administration Mary Chance toured the Fallston area to access damages to businesses and residential communities. Director Chance met with several residents of properties that were damaged along Whittaker Mill Road and Stonewall Lane.

Dozens of homes and businesses sustained damage from the tornado. Three structures, a 14’ x 70’ mobile office trailer, a one-story block auto refinishing and detailing business and a vacant one-story wood frame garage were totally destroyed during the storm. Several other businesses sustained moderate to heavy damage to their roofs, windows, exterior signs and structural members. Dozens of vehicles of all types were also either damaged or destroyed by the tornado.

Preliminary estimates by Harford County Government place damages at more than $1 million.

Areas sustaining the most damage included several small businesses on Eutaw Avenue, homes on Milton Avenue, as well as residences along Whittaker Mill Road, Summit Lane, Stonewall Lane and Old Joppa Road near County Life Farm.

The Harford County Department of Inspections, Licenses and Permits (DILP) will be surveying businesses and residential properties hardest hit by the storm. The Harford County Department of Public Works, Solid Waste Management is assisting the Fallston community by providing six large dumpster to collect tree limbs and other storm related debris.

The Harford County Division of Emergency Operations will continue to monitor clean-up efforts and damage assessments related to Friday’s storm.

Commenting on the storm and clean-up efforts, County Executive David R. Craig stated, “I applaud the prompt and efficient response of our fire and EMS personnel who did a tremendous job during the storm. I cannot stress enough the importance of emergency preparedness to the citizens of Harford County, to help them be better equipped to deal with severe storms and weather events. There is no substitute for being properly prepared for severe weather,” Craig remarked.