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UPDATED: Possible Tornado Hits Harford

A tornado watch lasted through 2 a.m. while flood warnings were in effect until midnight.

UPDATED (9:45 p.m.)—A string of heavy storms hit Harford County Friday evening, leaving power lines, branches and a collapsed building in its path of destruction.

Trained weather spotters reported a tornado thunderstorm with a tornado near Bel Air around 6:07 p.m. and moving northeast at 15 miles per hour.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Sterling, VA, however, had not confirmed a tornado as of 9:40 p.m.

"We do not have any confirmations of tornados there," meteorologist Brian Lasorsa said of Harford County. "We’ll have to go survey tomorrow."

, spokesman for , said some witnesses reported seeing rotation and a funnel cloud or tornado in the area of the most severe damage.

"That's not confirmed, however," Gardiner said of the tornado sightings.

Have photos of storm damage? Share them here on Patch.

The heaviest damage was to the Fallston area along U.S. Route 1 between the Bel Air Bypass and Maryland Route 152.

A tornado watch remained in effect until 2 a.m., and flash flood warning was in effect until 12:15 a.m.

A tornado watch was issued for the county, then upgraded to a warning around 6 p.m. A short time later, a 10-foot by 20-foot building in the area of West Grove Avenue and U.S. Route 1 in Fallston collapsed, injuring four people, according Gardiner.

Gardiner said one patient was transported by land to Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore for treatment of injuries sustained in the collapse.

A second patient was taken to another local hospital, Gardiner said. As of 8 p.m., these were the only injuries reported in connection with the storm, Gardiner said.

The storm also overturned vehicles and ripped off treetops with the large majority of damage centering in the area along U.S. Route 1, Gardiner said.

Overflowing storm drains and significant traffic delays around the Fallston area were also results of the severe weather.

Linda Ploener with Harford County's Emergency Operations Center said the center was partially activated in response to the severe weather conditions. The dispatch center was recieving a large volume of calls Friday shortly before 6:45 p.m.

The Maryland State Police Bel Air Barrack lost phone service as a result of the storm and the EOC was handling all of their calls.

Ploener said those with questions can call the non-emergency line: 410-638-4900.

Route 1 between the bypass and Route 152 remained closed to traffic shortly before 9 p.m. Friday as crews worked to clear debris and restore power.

Whitaker Mill Road was closed between Old Joppa Road and U.S. Route 1 and Old Joppa was closed betweeen Whitaker Mill and U.S. Route 1 Friday night.

Gardiner said fire department personnel along with members of the Maryland Emergency Management Agency and county emergency operations were going door to door in the Fallston area Friday night, checking the well-being of residents and surveying damage.

Harford County's Emergency Operations Center sent out an alert Friday afternoon to notify residents and businesses that conditions are favorable for the development of severe storms. Forecasts call for an inch of rain or more in parts of Harford County Friday.

The following message was sent out via the Connect CTY system just before 2:30 Friday:

This message is from the Harford County Division of Emergency Operations. Thunderstorms are expected to develop this afternoon and evening.  Some of the storms may be severe, producing damaging winds, large hail, and isolated tornadoes. Harford County has also been placed under a tornado watch  until 9 pm (which may be extended) which means conditions later this afternoon through midnight are favorable for development of severe storms and tornado development is possible. Rainfall amounts of 1 to 1 and a half inches is possible. Remember that heavy rainfall can also lead to flash flooding.  Please monitor local news and be safe this evening.

BGE was prepared for power outages throughout the region.

“With the potential for severe storms to move through our central Maryland service area this afternoon and evening, BGE continues to closely monitor the weather situation and is pre-mobilizing our storm center operations center,” Jeannette M. Mills, BGE chief customer officer, said in a statement. “We are also adjusting our crew staffing to prepare for a safe and prompt restoration of power should it be needed. We thank our customers in advance for their patience and cooperation.”

BGE advises customers to keep the following items on hand:

  • Flashlights – not candles
  • Fresh batteries
  • Battery operated clock radio
  • Corded telephone
  • Fully charged cell phone
  • Non-perishable foods
  • Blankets

Maryland is the center of a wide swath of storm activity across the east coast. The Storm Prediction Center calls for a slight chance of tornadoes across the Mid-Atlantic, with a moderate chance in parts of Western Maryland, Pennsylvania and Northern Virginia.

Shifting low pressure over the Ohio Valley will move a storm-producing cold front into the mid-Atlantic, according to the National Weather Service.

Forecasters at Accuweather.com call for the possibility of severe thunderstorms in the area through the evening, but breezy and sunny weather on Saturday.

TELL US: Does your neighborhood have storm damage? Leave a comment.

Hazzard Native June 01, 2012 at 11:00 PM
I was in Benson at the time, transformers popping, power poles cut in half, signs coming down, glass and other debris flying through the air, etc. I've been through some some rough weather, and this was in the top 5 of my 42 years. I would not call it a tornado, if it was, it was an F-0, it seemed like a micro-burst to me.
Hazzard Native June 02, 2012 at 12:26 AM
An old friend is in shock trauma from this incident, prayers are appreciated.
frogger666 June 02, 2012 at 12:27 AM
We were at one of the dealerships when the storm hit. it was horrible. The glass windows were shaking and the transformers were blowing. The telephone polls were tilting and lines were snapping. We went to the Royal farms near the intersection of rt 1 and 152 to pick up the second vehicle we had left there and found out that although the Royal Farms was letting people stay in there and making sure their customers were comfortable, the WaWa nearby had kicked one of the woman there out during the storm. She then went to Royal Farms who welcomed her in. I can't believe they wouldn't let her in. The way she told it, they seemed pretty rude about it too.
Hazzard Native June 02, 2012 at 12:39 AM
That is very rude! I rode it out at Don's Crabs.
Kirsten Dize June 02, 2012 at 01:58 AM
Thank you everyone for these great photos! Keep them coming!
paraniodandriod June 02, 2012 at 02:03 AM
my kitty and I were so scared
Bob June 02, 2012 at 02:28 AM
I don't buy your story about Wawa kicking someone out in the storm for even a half second.
Amy June 02, 2012 at 01:16 PM
The woman working at Wawa definitely kicked us out. Her exact words were "the storms coming from Bel Air so you have time to get out" as she locks the door. Meanwhile the tornado or whatever it was had just come through. The whole reason I stopped at wawa to begin with. Thank God I called my mom who just happen to be at Royal Farms down the street getting gas. Where the welcomed us, fed us, and most important let us seek shelter for the 5 hours we were stuck there.
SnakeSkin June 02, 2012 at 02:33 PM
I would have rather been stuck at wawa then royal farms!! Better food!! There is no way anyone would have kicked anybody out in that storm! I think your just looking for attention! It was pretty bad out there I hope everyone got through it safe!!! It's beautiful today!!!
Kirsten Dize June 02, 2012 at 02:38 PM
I know the power went out at Wawa next to Enterprise. They closed after the storm blew through.
Amy June 02, 2012 at 03:47 PM
Yeah I was in between the two doors at the entrance to wawa when she locked the 2nd door. I was with a couple other adults and a girl around 12. Sorry not looking for any attention from being locked out of a convenient store I'm 34 years old there's other things in life to worry about!
Mary Parker June 03, 2012 at 02:11 AM
Wow, that was quite a storm. I've been gone from Belair for 20yrs. and I never saw a storm hit like that. Belair has grown since I left. Hardly recognized any of the streets. People act differently in storms and sometimes not the best. I'm in the midwest now and we have storms like this quite frequently. That took some getting use to.
Wendy Wilcox June 03, 2012 at 11:54 AM
We will remember this storm for years to come. I happen to work at the dental office whose roof was torn off. Not sure when we will be back in operation . It's gonna take alot of work but we will be back and the community around us have been very supportive..
Patricia Brown June 04, 2012 at 12:01 AM
I live in the homes there off Milton, Fallston View ct. We only got a little damage in our back yard. but across the street had siding and their front large tree blown to bits. the center of it was ripped out leaving the outside branches! Right after the storm the state police and fire department drove around and kept us calm. The neighborhood looked like a war zone!
Jackee June 05, 2012 at 02:41 AM
I am the girlfriend of Keith Matthews, the man that was crushed by the wall on Eutaw Avenue. I just wanted to let everyone know that he was moved to rehab tonight. So he is out of shock trama. There is a pay pal account set up for anyone who would like to make a donation its ferroamtrak@gmail.com he is not have medical insurance or anything so anything would be a blessing. I am trying very hard to make sure he will have a house to come home to because he is my everything. He was the primary bread winner but by the grace of god I am not planning his funeral. Thank everyone for the prayers and well wishes and just many many thanks Jackee
rahmanraza January 03, 2013 at 08:05 AM
This is nice to read and I like http://www.allaboutmedical.eu
alena mauer April 02, 2014 at 02:11 PM
I love watching lightening storms. when I was younger we would all go sit under the deck and watch the storms. There is something beautiful about lightening. Alena | http://www.mysmilemakers.com/

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