Tornado in USA on April 16 2019 03:30 AM (UTC).
A tornado touched down in Laurel early Monday, cutting a notable path of destruction, blowing off rooftops and spreading debris across fields, The National Weather Service said. One injury was reported by National Weather Service after a tree fell on a house. The tornado touched down at 3:38 a.m. in Laurel and traveled 6.2 miles in Seaford. The tornado was initially classified as a weak event at EF1 but was upgraded to strong EF2 by National Weather Service, with winds as high as 135 miles per hour. Sussex County saw severe thunderstorms and a tornado overnight, with rotating winds leading to destruction, particularly in Laurel where many reports of damage have been coming from. The heavy rain Sunday night was a "quick hitter," and flooding hadn't been widely reported in Sussex County as of Monday morning, meteorologist Nick Carr said. Wind gusts of more than 40 miles per hour could hit the area through Monday afternoon, Carr said. The tornado lasted seven minutes - enough time to damage several homes. On Seaford Road, about 10 homes showed damage from the wind, flying debris and downed trees. Officials said so far, that has been the hardest hit area. A National Weather Service statement issued around 2:30 p.m. with "preliminary" information shows the tornado was an EF1, with an estimated maximum wind speed of 95 miles per hour and width of 50 yards. By 4 p.m., that rank was moved up to EF2. The Enhanced Fujita scale (EF-Scale) rates the intensity of tornadoes in some countries, including the United States and Canada, based on the damage they cause. Monday's tornado path extended northeast from Woodland Ferry Road in Laurel to Pepper Road in Seaford. The tornado destroyed at least one barn, according to the statement, and caused a tree to fall on a house, injuring one man. No other injuries or fatalities were reported in the statement. "In addition, there was roof damage to several other homes and barns. Many trees were uprooted along the tornado path, and a few were snapped," the statement reads. Joe Thomas, director of the Sussex County Emergency Operations Center estimated at least 20 residents had been impacted to some level.