Laurel, DE (April 15, 2019) – Emergency crews in Sussex County, Del., are continuing damage assessment this morning following a severe line of thunderstorms overnight, possibly tornadic, that has left at least a dozen buildings seriously damaged, power knocked out, and traffic rerouted in parts of the Laurel area.
At approximately 3:43 a.m. Monday, the Laurel Fire Department and other surrounding companies were dispatched to multiple alarms following a rapidly moving line of severe storms with high winds and heavy rain.
In that line, a cell with very strong winds or possibly a tornado, damaged houses, downed trees, and scattered debris over a miles-long area. At this time, it is unclear whether the damage is the result of a confirmed tornado. Investigators with the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J., will be reviewing images and data to make a determination.
The path and damage of the storm stretches from approximately the Portsville area west of Laurel to the Hardscrabble area southwest of Georgetown, or just north of the US Route 9 corridor. There were seven alarms during the storm, including a residential rescue resulting from a tree falling into a house. One patient, an adult male, was transported to Nanticoke Memorial Hospital in Seaford with minor injuries.
Multiple roads in and around the Laurel area are closed due to downed trees and wires. Motorists and residents are urged to avoid travel in the affected areas, and be on the lookout for downed trees and power lines if they must travel.
For the latest traffic information, please visit http://www.deldot.gov/Traffic/travel_advisory/#advisories.
At this time, the extent of damage is not fully known as emergency assessment is ongoing. Several emergency agencies from throughout the county and the state of Delaware are assisting in the aftermath and recovery from this event, and the American Red Cross is on site providing assistance to those affected by the storm.
Laurel Fire Department will provide updates throughout the incident and as more information becomes available. Please follow the Laurel Fire Department’s website and Facebook page for updated information.
To report storm damage or non-emergency information, please call 302-856-7366.
For further information contact Mike Lowe Public Information Officer at 302-242-5789