Scary: a waterspout destroys everything in its path!


Thumbnail photo credit: Amy and Daniel Somers

The event took place last Thursday evening. Under the amazed gaze of several witnesses, some of whom were able to capture the phenomenon in images, a waterspout touched down.

Significant damage

It continued its course on the island, damaging nearby buildings. In particular, roofs were torn off, at least one house was demolished and trees also paid the price for the phenomenon. According to a resident, boats were also thrown. The waterspout also challenged the power grid as numerous power outages were reported. Authorities were still assessing the extent of the damage Friday morning.

Severe weather aftermath

The waterspout formed off Smith Island, home to about 260 islanders, early Thursday evening. The coasts of Maryland were then hit by violent storms, providing the ideal context for the creation of such a phenomenon. The National Weather Service had even indicated, earlier in the day, that gusts of more than 70 km / h and hail were possible for this region.

What is a waterspout?

There are two types of waterspouts: those emanating from cumulus clouds and those called tornado-type. Waterspouts of the first category infrequently reach the shore and dissipate very quickly, when they do.

On the other hand, tornado-type waterspouts display the same characteristics as terrestrial tornadoes. As a result, they can cause enormous damage, as was the case on Smith Island.


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