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Monday, May 17, 2021

Weather service: Isaias spawns 3 possible Delaware tornadoes

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Middletown, Delaware

The National Weather Service said tornadoes may have touched down in Dover, Smyrna and Sandtown as Isaias passed over state.

There were reports of wind gusts in Smyrna of 96 miles per hour.

In the Middletown-Townsend area, four tractor-trailer trucks were overturned by high winds and customers in the Wawa parking lot near Delaware 1 were scared as a bank of overturned portable toilets starting sliding into the parking lot as the weather suddenly changed. Drivers thought at first that it was big steel dumpsters moving.

 

“That was the most terrifying few moments of my life. Ever. Ever. Ever,” wrote Amy White on Facebook.

The damage from the possible tornadoes will be examined by the National Weather Service before they can officially be designated tornadoes.

Photos and videos of winds and wind damage were playing all over social media Tuesday morning.

While White didn’t see a funnel cloud when she was in the Wawa parking lot, “everything changed in an instant,” she said. The winds came as tropical storm Isaias intensified in the area.

A few miles away in Townsend, 911 Breaking News reported three tractor trailers overturned at Route 1 and Harris Road. Multiple trees and power lines were down, the report said.

On Summit Bridge Road in front of the Summit Airport, another tractor trailer was reported overturned.

White had gone to get coffee, even though there was a tornado warning.

“I have learned I have no idea what to do in a tornado when I’m already in a vehicle,” White said on Facebook. “Do I stay in the car? But i’m surrounded by glass. Do I get out of the car and run back in the Wawa?

The portable toilets were pushing across the lot, “trees looked like they were bent in half, debris was circling,” she wrote.

She thought about driving the quarter-mile to her house.

 

“Except there was ZERO visibility. It was astonishingly scary,” White said. “And right on my heels out of the Wawa was a woman with a newborn in a baby carrier. That’s all I could think of! How she must have felt. I was shaking so hard I couldn’t even make a decision. And my brain was so fried from the terror that I couldn’t remember how to put my hazard lights on! The human brain is very weird.”

Some of the people in the parking lot were trying to film it.

“You are not Helen Hunt,” she wrote, referring to the film “Twister.”

 

“I hightailed it as soon as the people videotaping ran back into the store,” she said.

And she scolded herself.

“Note to self,” she wrote. “Tornado warnings are real, choose a more appropriate time to get your coffee.”

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