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Friday, February 26, 2021

National Weather Service confirms an EF1 tornado touched down in Hockessin Friday

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Friday night storm damage in Greenville still showed on Sunday.
Friday night storm damage in Greenville still showed on Sunday. Photo by Christy Fleming

The National Weather Service confirmed Monday that an EF1 tornado touched down in Hockessin Friday night.

Wilmington Country Club alone lost 200 trees, the service said.

The Mount Holly office said the tornado had wind speeds of 105 miles per hour and ran 3.8 miles. Its maximum width was 450 yards.

The tornado lasted from 5:40 p.m. to 5:51 p.m., the Weather Service said. Damage in the area also came from straight line winds, which are powerful bursts of air.

Flooding and downed trees turned people’s trips home into hours-long adventures.

 

The tornado was the fourth big weather event to hit Delaware in four days. Tropical storm Isaias came through Tuesday, spawning two tornadoes, one that stretched 30-miles from Dover to Middletown.

Many in the affluent Hockessin and Greenville area said the Friday night storm was the worst people could remember, and so was the damage. Winterthur Museum, Gardens and Library, Mt. Cuba Center, Wilmington Country Club were closed Saturday because trees were down all over their property.

The Weather Service said the tornado touched down at Ashland Nature Center at 5:40 p.m. just east of the intersection with Brackenville Road and Barley Mill Road, where some tree damage occurred.

 

It continued east-southeast to the Swallow Hill area where there were multiple trees down across Pyles Ford Road. Trees were snapped at the trunk, with one tree falling on a house. Pyles Ford Road was closed because of the amount of tree damage.

The tornado continued east where substantial damage occurred north of Valley Garden Park, where more than 20 trees were uprooted or damaged. Campbell Road also was closed due to the multiple trees down. The path through the club’s property took down about 200 trees.

The twister moved east then, lifting before it reached Rockland. No damage was noted at DuPont Country Club or on Concord Pike, the service said.

 

An EF1 tornado is considered weak, with 86 to 110 mph winds.

The straight-line wind damage was separate and south of the tornado track, the weather service said, hitting Greenville and Wilmington in a 4.5 mile path from 5:41 p.m. to 5:59 p.m. Winds hit 95 miles per hour in paths as wide as 1,800 yards, the service said.

That part of the storm was associated with its severe rear-flank downdraft. 

The damage began just east of Hoopes Reservoir with four trees down at the intersection of Centreville and Barley Mill roads, with more damaged on Hillside Road.

 

Trees were uprooted and fell on power poles at Fairthone and were uprooted at Greenville Manor.

Damage moved southeast when trees and large branches were downed on Buck Road and in Monchan.

From there, winds continued south into the Henry Clay section, with more trees down and damage near the intersection of Montchanin Road and Kennett Pike.

Near Rising Sun Lane, a tree snapped at the trunk had damage indication of winds near 100 miles per hour.

 

Because there was less damage there than at Wilmington Country Club, the weather service rated the maximum wind speed at 95 miles per hour.

In Wilmington, trees were uprooted along West 19 Street and Tower Road, south of Rockford Park, where trees were downed, too.

The significant damage ended near the Delaware Art Museum in Kentmere.

Sporadic damage continued east towards the intersection of Interstate 95 and Concord Pike, where power companies had to remove trees from lines. Trees also went down in Haynes Park.

 

 

 

 
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The 132-pound weight class may be the most exciting, with two former state champions in the bracket.
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