A severe thunderstorm tore through a wide swath of Harford County Sunday afternoon, with a tornado warning in effect for nearly two hours and a funnel cloud reported in Abingdon near Interstate 95 and state Route 924.
Several fires were also reported, and a portion of state Route 543 near Chestnut Hill and Gibson roads was closed to traffic shortly after 5 p.m. due to downed trees, according to local emergency officials.
According to a National Weather Service alert, local emergency management reported a funnel cloud in Abingdon near the intersection of I-95 and Route 924 at approximately 4:45 p.m. It was not immediately clear whether a tornado had in fact touched down, or if any other funnel clouds had been reported.
Part of state Route 165 in Delta was blocked by a downed tree, with many others reported across the northern part of the county.
Calls for assistance from county fire units rose as the storm moved through the county. Wires were reported down at the 2700 block of Creswell Road in Bel Air, the 4000 block of Street Road in Street and on the 4600 block of Pulaski Highway in Belcamp. Brush fires were reported at the 3100 block of Nova Scotia Road in Aberdeen and at the intersection of Holy Cross and Grier Nursery roads in Street.
A building fire was reported on the 4300 block of Winners Circle in Belcamp after downed power lines fell on a shed located at the end of a group of townhomes and caused the shed to begin smoking, according to Rich Gardiner, spokesman for the Harford County Volunteer Fire and EMS Association.
A severe thunderstorm watch remained in effect until 8 p.m. Sunday evening, according to the National Weather Service.
From the National Weather Service:
A TORNADO WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 530 PM EDT FOR HARFORD COUNTY…
AT 505 PM EDT… NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DOPPLER RADAR CONTINUED TO INDICATE A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM CAPABLE OF PRODUCING A TORNADO. THIS TORNADO WAS LOCATED NEAR PERRYMAN… OR 6 MILES SOUTH OF ABERDEEN… MOVING SOUTHEAST AT 20 MPH. A FUNNEL CLOUD WAS REPORTED BY LOCAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT IN ABINGDON NEAR INTERSTATE 95 AND ROUTE 924 AROUND 445 PM.
TAKE COVER NOW. MOVE TO AN INTERIOR ROOM ON THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STURDY BUILDING AND AVOID WINDOWS. IF OUTDOORS OR IN A MOBILE HOME OR VEHICLE… MOVE TO THE CLOSEST SUBSTANTIAL SHELTER AND PROTECT YOURSELF FROM FLYING DEBRIS.