QUEENSTOWN — Queen Anne’s County Emergency Services are tracking reports of storm damage following severe weather in Queenstown Wednesday, July 21.
The National Weather Service has not confirmed whether the event was a tornado, said Scott Haas, EMS director. “Our crew surveying the area feels it was not, but it is up to them to determine.”
Dustin Vitielliss of Nottingham Lane had returned home from his 24-hour firefighter shift in Washington D.C. earlier in the day. He hadn’t seen any weather reports on television, nor had he read any alerts in the news. Without checking his phone for a forecast, he had no expectations of foul weather.
“I went out to my truck and I just thought it was a wall of white rain,” Vitielliss said.
By the time the storm had completely blanketed the house across the street from Vitielliss, the firefighter was heading inside. Gusts of wind knocked him down on his way to the garage door and scrambling, he corralled his kids into the basement.
“I’ve never felt a storm that strong before,” he said.
When the chaos passed, just five minutes later, the Vitielliss family’s trampoline had been tossed in the air nearly a quarter of a mile across a field, Heavy pieces of lawn furniture, Vitielliss added, sunk to the bottom of his pool. Meanwhile, a homeless cat, suspected of living in the woods, had retreated to the neighborhood’s roundabout for safety. Neighbors feed the cat before calling animal control.
“It was definitely more than a summer shower,” said Richard Hair, one of Vitielliss’ neighbors.
Queenstown Volunteer Fire Department firefighter Lennie Anthony said they received a few calls related to downed tree limbs, but nothing serious.
“We’ve already been in touch with Maryland Emergency Management and National Weather Service and we will be going out doing damage assessment tomorrow morning,” said Beth Malasky, with the county.
Initial reports indicated the most serious damage occurred in the Warrington Farm Lane near Route 301 area.