Ronald Rose was sitting in the family room of his Sycamore Gardens home when his cellphone started buzzing with an emergency alert about a tornado warning.
“I got out of the family room and all of a sudden, boom, boom, boom, and you can see what happened,” Rose said as he stood in the driveway of the Brewster Drive house Friday morning, pointing to a large tree that crashed through his roof. “A tree went right through."
The warning, which came shortly after 9:30 a.m., prompted Rose to move to a room on the interior of his house, as is often recommended by meteorologists. He's glad he heeded that advice.
"The tree is right next to the family room,” Rose said. “If it came this way instead of straight on, I might not be here."
The tree, which was located in Rose's side yard, came crashing through a second-floor bedroom. Rose lives alone, and the room was unoccupied.
"That whole bedroom is demolished. That piece of trunk went right straight down in,” said Rose, who was waiting for a construction company to evaluate the house and determine if the downstairs living room sustained damage as well.
He said he was surprised at the amount of damage caused by the quick-moving storm.
"I didn’t think it was that bad, to be honest with you, until I looked out the front window and saw a tree there,” Rose said. “It blew all the way around from the side out to here, that's how hard the winds were blowing."
Though the damage to Rose's property occurred during a tornado warning, it is believed to have been caused by straight-line winds.
Besides the damage in Sycamore Gardens, a tree fell on a house on Patrick Henry Court in Cherry Hill Manor, damaging a gutter and shattering the windshield of a vehicle parked nearby, Newark spokeswoman Jayme Gravell said. There were also downed trees on Beverly Road and Grantham Place in Old Newark.
Another tree hit a house on Indian Road in Old Newark, Councilman Chris Hamilton added.
Approximately 100 Newark residents lost power for 45 minutes, Gravell said.
There were no confirmed tornados in Delaware, but the National Weather Service did confirm that an EF-1 tornado touched down just over the state line near Elkton, Md.
With winds as strong as 100 mph, the twister first touched down near the Elk Mills Quarry at the corner of Elk Mills, Fletchwood and Appleton roads and uprooted trees on surrounding residential properties. It continued east along Fletchwood Road, passing over industrial buildings and hit the Pine Hill apartment complex, where it uprooted or snapped numerous pine trees.
The tornado, which followed a path 600 yards wide and 0.8 miles long, dissipated less than a mile from Newark. It caused no injuries or significant structural damage, according to NWS.