At a width of 700 yards the storm was 200 yards wider than the two broadest before. it was rated an EF-3 on the 0-to-5 scale used for tornado intensity, with peak winds estimated at 140 mph. The only other Delaware tornado to receive a high rating occurred in Newcastle, south of Wilmington, on April 28, 1961. That storm was rated F3 on the previous version of the hurricane intensity scale. The only two previous tornadoes in Delaware occurred with an F2 tornado on July 21, 1983, near Hartley in Kent County.
Some damage from an EF3 tornado in Delaware
the first image was a poorly built house that was given an EF2 DI rating while the second image was a well built two story house that was given a fatal name and was given an EF3 rating pic.twitter.com/vDLsintpBc
— Jayden Keener (@KeenerJayden) April 3, 2023
another confirmed the tornadoes in the Mid-Atlantic on Friday and Saturday, including one in Cecil County, Md., one in Buck County, Pa., and four in New Jersey.
The crash began at 5:59 p.m. near the intersection of Polk and Dublin Hill roads on the northbound side of Route 404 south of Bridgeville, which drivers from the DC and Baltimore areas may recognize as an alternate route to Route 50 to Delaware. and Maryland shores. The storm lasted for 20 minutes until 6:19 p.m., which covered east and north in Ellendale.
Along the way, it destroyed warehouses, blew down power poles, uprooted or uprooted numerous trees, collapsed double houses, leveled several houses, overturned several semi-trailers and scattered debris several hundred yards. Trees falling on houses caused great damage and one house had its chimney blown out.
The storm’s wind intensity reached its peak, causing substantial damage to a Delaware Department of Transportation facility, including the collapse of an exterior wall and a large portion of the roof. Some of the garage doors were broken and the roof of the salt storage building was completely destroyed. Favorable material was found embedded in the ground near where a weather station measured a wind gust of 98 mph.
A review of radar images shows that the storm that began as a shower south of Culpeper, Va., at about 3:10 p.m., developed into a thunderstorm that crossed just south of the DC Beltway at about 4:10 p.m., reaching the East. It began to make landfall around 5:10 pm in Delaware at about 5:40 pm before producing a tornado at 5:59 pm
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning earlier this afternoon for Sussex County and southern Kent County, including Bridgeville and Ellendale, at 6:01 p.m. according to radar detections. The warning said “flying objects caught without cover will be dangerous. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is likely.”
An update from the Weather Service at 6:04 pm said the tornado was confirmed to be near Bridgeville. Another update at 6:14 pm said the Ellendale tornado had survived.
The Weather Service noted that “historically, Delaware has gone several years without any tornadoes, only to have multiple occur in a short period of time…most notably in 1992 and 2020.”
Jason Samenow contributed to this report.