04augAll DayDover-Middletown (Kent/New Castle County, DE)


Start Time:  8:55 am EDT

End Time:  9:30 am EDT

Rating:  EF2

Estimated Peak Winds:  115 mph

Path length:  29.2 miles

Width:  500 yards

Fatalities:  0

Injuries:  0

County:  Kent, New Castle

State:  Delaware

Start Lat/Lon:  39.10 / -75.50

End Lat/Lon:  39.58 /  -75.7671

The tornado touched down in the vicinity of the Eagle Meadows Apartment Homes on Sorghum Mill Road in Kent County then moved across Route 10. It tracked nearly parallel to South State Street through Anneville, the south side of Dover, where significant tree damage occurred, including some treetops shredded from Poplar Lane to the neighborhood around Steele Road. It was here where some roof damage occurred to some homes especially due to fallen trees, however a garage was significantly damaged on Dyer’s Tree Farm. The tornado then crossed over Route 13 near the Eden Medical Center and very near the William Henry Middle School. A couple sections of the school’s roof were blown off along with some tree damage nearby. A warehouse adjacent to the school had a few sections of its metal walls torn off and a couple of tractor trailer trailers flipped onto their side. The tornado then crossed over Walker Road at Route 15 then to Westminster Village at Dover near the intersection of Route 15 and College Road. The tornado continued northward just east of Cheswold where the tornado may have lifted for a time with discontinuous tree damage before moving through the east side of Smyrna where more notable tree damage occurred. A 96 mph wind gust was measured at a Delaware Department of Transportation weather station located on Route 1 just north of Smyrna as the tornadic circulation passed by. From here, the tornado continued nearly parallel to Routes 1 and 13 on the east sides of Townsend and Middletown in New Castle County. Numerous trees were snapped or uprooted along portions of Blackbird Landing Road and Gum Bush Road in Townsend with some damage to roofs. A garage at a residence on Blackbird Landing Road was destroyed. The tornado then damaged homes in Middletown along Spring Hollow Drive. In this neighborhood, some homes had roof material and siding blown off with numerous trees uprooted. Several garage doors were blown out and one home had an entire side wall blown off. One picture showed a home with a missing exterior corner walls on the second story. The tornado continued north northwest to the Summit Bridge area just south of the C and D canal. It is here where substantial damage occurred to several homes, including one home that had more than half of its roof completely torn off with a neighboring home losing several sections of their roof. Some other homes lost a portion of their roof and siding was torn off with a garage door blown in, along with several trees down or snapped. The tornado crossed the canal and tracked near Lums Pond and through an adjacent wooded area where pictures and areal footage showed a clear path with numerous trees down. The tornado then crossed Route 896 and into the Brennan Estates where hundreds of trees were down or uprooted and around a dozen homes sustained enough damage that they were declared as uninhabitable. The tornado then looked to have lifted prior to crossing over into Cecil County Maryland. Based on the damage to the homes in the Middletown to Summit Bridge to Brennan Estates areas especially (some non-tree related damage), the rating of this tornado was increased to 115 mph which is equivalent to an EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale. Doppler radar data showed a continuous and well defined rotational signature and also a tornado debris signature. This tornado path length set a new record in Delaware, greatly surpassing the previous tornado path length record of 13 miles which occurred in 1988. Special thanks is extended to Kent County and New Castle County Emergency Management, trained spotters, and the public for their extensive assistance with this survey.


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