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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Storms kill child in Michigan and damage homes in Maryland

By Orlando Mayorquín and Yan Zhuang

Storms swept through the United States earlier this week amid reported tornadoes, killing a toddler in Michigan, injuring several people in the Washington, D.C. suburbs and threatening Baltimore with floods.

On Wednesday afternoon, a rapidly developing tornado knocked a large tree through the roof of a family home in Livonia, Michigan, and onto a bed where a mother and her 2-year-old son were sleeping, local officials said in a statement.

The child was killed and the mother is in critical condition, the statement said, adding that the storms suddenly became severe as they entered the city, leaving officials with no time to issue a warning.

At night in Montgomery County in Maryland, one person was taken to a hospital with traumatic injuries and another four sustained non-life threatening injuries after a tree fell on the house they were in, David Pazos, the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue assistant chief, said on social media.

Officials advised people in the county to take cover after the National Weather Service office in Washington issued a tornado warning and called it a “particularly dangerous situation.”

“We believe there were multiple tornadoes,” said Pete Piringer, a spokesperson for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

A tornado was believed to have touched down in a residential area of Gaithersburg in Montgomery County, about 20 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, Piringer told reporters.

He added that there were at least three occupied buildings there that were struck by trees.

Downed trees and power lines littered roadways in Gaithersburg, Piringer said, and there were reports of damage in the nearby communities of Poolesville and Germantown.

Video on social media showed a menacing wall of gray funneling down to the ground in the distance in Poolesville as the weather service issued multiple tornado warnings for the area, including Harford County, Baltimore County and the city of Baltimore. Most expired by 10:15 p.m.

A flood watch was also in effect for Baltimore and the surrounding area, while flash flood warnings covered parts of Cecil County and southeastern Harford County, where officials said they were responding to flooded roads and conducting multiple water rescues.

The United States has come under an intense onslaught of deadly tornadoes in recent weeks, with much of the destruction happening in the plains and the Midwest.

Tornado activity in the mid-Atlantic region is less common than in other parts of the country. Parts of Maryland had come under a tornado watch late last month.

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