Severe storm: ‘Sounded like a train rolling through’

DOVER – A severe thunderstorm came rolling through Kent County at around 3:45 on Monday afternoon and was gone almost as quickly as it arrived – leaving a swath of damage in its wake just south of Dover.

At that time, The National Weather Service (NWS) said that a thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located over Woodside, just south of Dover, heading east toward Magnolia at 50 mph. The radar indicated there was rotation consistent with tornadic activity involved with the storm.

When the storm was over, there were wind gusts of nearly 70 mph recorded in Kitts Hummock, leaving Sherry Luff’s car and her boyfriend’s truck covered by fallen trees. Meanwhile, a tree had fallen on southbound Del. 1 near the air base, stopping traffic.

“It sounded like a train rolling through,” said Ms. Luff, who is customer service team leader at the Delaware State News. “I’m not an expert, so I’m not sure if it was a tornado or not, but it sure did sound like one.

“My phone said for me to ‘Take cover now,’ and I just stood there at the door, kind of mesmerized by it all. It was like it wasn’t even real.”

A shaken Ms. Luff said three trees had come down along her driveway and firefighters from Little Creek were working on cutting them off the vehicles. She said she had also heard there was a shed on its side and twisted in a mobile home park near her home.

“Now with the coronavirus going on, I can’t even hug anybody after all of this and that really stinks,” she said.

Meanwhile, high winds and rain showers battered Sussex County earlier on Monday morning, causing trees and power lines to fall, leading to power outages, property damage and closed roadways across the county. More than 7,000 Delaware Electric Cooperative customers were left without power.

Winds were coming from the south early on Monday between 25 to 35 mph, with 40 mph gusts around Slaughter Beach and Georgetown.