Overnight Storm Causes Severe Damage in West Sussex County
(LAUREL/SEAFORD, Del.) - Residents of many towns across Delmarva woke up Monday morning to find severe damage from the storm that brought thunderstorms and heavy wind and rain overnight. Tornado warnings were issued for different parts of the peninsula and the National Weather Service determined that it was in fact an EF2 Tornado that caused the damage shortly before 4 a.m.
The Laurel Fire Department says several alarms went off during the storm. One was due to a tree that fell into a house. In this incident, an adult male was transported to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital with minor injuries.
According to the Laurel Fire Department, the severe line of thunderstorms overnight has knocked out power, left at least a dozen buildings seriously damaged, and caused traffic to be rerouted in parts of the Laurel area. The fire department says the storm's path and damage span from the Portsville area west of Laurel to the Hardscrabble area southwest of Georgetown and that the tornado, damaged houses, downed trees, and scattered debris over a miles-long area.
Thousands of Delaware Electric Cooperative customers lost power. According to the co-op's Facebook page, crews began responding at 3:45 a.m. Monday. In that same post, the co-op says crews started working to replace 4 poles they believe to have been snapped by a tornado in the Laurel area. Power had been restored to all but 274 homes as of 10 a.m.
The storm also caused delays, closures and early dismissals for several school districts. The Seaford School District opened two hours late. The Laurel School District ruled on closing for the day due to the severe damage Monday morning's tornadic activity caused to many homes and roadways in the community. Sussex Tech announced that they would be closing at 11 a.m. due to electrical issues from the storm.