A Baltimore tornado touched down Monday in the city’s famous harbor, tearing the roof off a warehouse and causing other damage.
The storm was part of a large weather system that struck along the East Coast, spawning other tornadoes across Maryland.
The tornado appeared as a water spout that moved quickly across the harbor, damaging nearby buildings and tossing pieces of a warehouse roof through the air. The storm system dumped close to two inches of rain in the city’s Inner Harbor, with more than an inch of it coming in just one hour between 3 pm and 4 pm.
Steve Fogleman, a local attorney and chairman of the Baltimore liquor board, said he was driving when he came across the Baltimore tornado in action.
“It looked like birds at first, but then I realized the way they were behaving did not look like birds,” Fogleman said. “It looked like sheets of vinyl siding.”
Witnesses say the Baltimore tornado originally appeared as if it would miss the warehouse, but then veered directly toward it.
“I was about 80 feet up in the air and watched the whole thing from the beginning,” a crane operator said. “It looked farther away and then it made a turn toward us and that’s when it took off that roof.”
Pictures of the Baltimore tornado were shared via social media.
— FOX Baltimore (@FOXBaltimore) June 10, 2013
A video also showed the tornado as it made its way across the harbor.
Tornadoes are more common in rural parts of Maryland, with close to 10 each year, but a Baltimore tornado is a rare occurrence. A larger tornado struck the central city in 1996, while another in 1994 damaged row houses and trees in 1994.