The College Park (Prince Georges County) Twister of 2001 September 24

The College Park (Prince Georges County) Twister of 2001 September 24

The temporary MFRI headquarters before the twister

MFRI before the tornado

The stays of the MFRI constructing after the twister; Ann and Imogen were
interior with 5 others

The remains of the MFRI building

Till 2001 September 24 we tended to ogle on twister look
warnings as a thrilling likelihood to look something dramatic but innocuous:
despite the whole lot, tornados never contact down in suburban Maryland. That every individual modified
when an F3 twister with winds discontinuance to 200 mph (“solid” F3) touched down
at about 5: 30 pm on a hill on the College of Maryland campus, beside
the College President’s place of living and actual on the lend a hand of the portable constructing
temporarily then housing the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute MFRI) headquarters,
where my wife Ann Harris Davidson then worked.


The path of the twister from MFRI past Performing Arts

Path of the tornado

The twister proceeded north at 30 mph, marvelous by
the constructing and down the hill, for the duration of Stadium Power, over the pinnacle of Easton
Hall and by the dorms, for the duration of Lot 2 and the Heart for Younger Younger of us,
up the hill on the far facet of Lot 9, down the diversified facet and lend a hand for the duration of
the intersection of College Blvd and Metzerott Ave where it took down
the steeple of the church on the corner, by the College Courtyard
flats, snapping broad bushes within the swamp beyond and for the duration of the north
finish of Paint Branch Golf Direction before de-roofing Home Depot and Linens’n’Issues
on Cherry Hill Rd, then more harm as far as Laurel. 

Ann and our daughter Imogen Davidson White
were within the MFRI constructing
(Imogen was there after college to rep again of Ann’s snappily Web
connection for a French project) and knew that a storm was coming but they
had not heard anything else relating to the capacity of a twister within the community: when
they felt a surprising drop in stress they appeared out and noticed debris whipping
by the home windows and dived below the nearest desks. The key funnel passed
marvelous by the middle of the constructing and out the diversified facet; the constructing
appears to have been shredded. Amazingly all those within the constructing survived,
but with varied levels of harm. Ann’s colleague Toby was within the adjoining
smaller photocopying constructing and was thrown about 80 yards for the duration of the
car parking zone; MFRI’s broad photocopier was thrown 50 yards. Toby’s canines Muffin
was with him but was never discovered. Ann was marvelous within the path of the funnel
and was left within the beginning when it passed, the whole lot around her having been
sucked away. She held on to the carpet mounted to the concrete flooring of the
constructing and a table leg while the twister was pulling her legs upwards.
She suffered bruises and scratches on her knees and decrease legs where debris
struck them, and a series of heavy cinder blocks from the irascible of the adjoining
constructing 20 yards away landed a couple of feet from where her head was. Imogen
was below a solid desk which was fully lined with rubble
when the constructing fell apart: she was not excavated for one more 40 minutes.
She suffered a pointy bruise on one arm and pores and skin scraped off her elbow.
Within the event you ogle on the photos of the impart of the constructing after the twister,
it is extraordinary that their injuries were not worse.

Tragically, the daughters of Pat Marlatt, Ann’s discontinuance
colleague, had actual left the constructing and were riding away when the funnel
picked them up and carried the automobile loads of hundred yards, over one amongst the
excessive-upward thrust dorms, before losing the automobile into the woods beyond. They’ll
be sadly omitted by all americans who knew them. Pat himself was within the middle
of the MFRI constructing and suffered excessive lacerations on the pinnacle when the
constructing collapsed; he was the final to be extricated.

Our 2001
featured prominently in a whole lot of the click photos, sitting forlornly
with its trunk beginning, on top of a tree with a white van sitting on its nostril.
Copies of Washington
Put up
(with quotes from Ann and Imogen) and Baltimore
stories on the twister are on this space and the Baltimore Sun article
on the Marlatt
Apart from, the Baltimore Sun has wide
of the twister and the Washington Put up has a photo
. Extra photos are accessible from a menu

I work within the Apartment Sciences constructing on campus, about 880 yards
from the MFRI constructing and one-third of a mile from the twister path. Our
half of the constructing faces away from the twister path, so we had no look
of it. We completely were all mindful that a great storm had passed by, but
none of us knew that it was a twister. We were all gathered within the hallways
speaking about it for some time afterwards. Then after about 30 minutes
it become certain that things were more serious: a colleague called from
the Heart for Younger Younger of us to claim that they weren’t allowed to hotfoot away,
and there was a file that the fresh Performing Arts Heart had misplaced its

When I heard this I become skittish, on story of I knew that
the fresh constructing was very solid and unlikely to have misplaced its roof, and
I in reality knew that if any constructing in that living had been broken, it
would be the portable trailer housing MFRI where I knew Ann and Imogen
to be. At that time I left our constructing to hotfoot as much as  MFRI, by
the rain nonetheless falling. I started seeing harm on the educate soccer
fields, where targets had been tossed over the fence. Within the shadow of Byrd
Stadium were bushes that had been snapped off half-scheme up. I walked round
the stadium parking storage  to Stadium Power where emergency autos
were already parked, and down past the Performing Arts Heart. When I become
the corner on the bottom of the hill and appeared up in direction of the MFRI constructing,
I could well not specialize in my eyes, on story of none of the things I anticipated to look
were there. There was actual a pile of rubble where the constructions had stood
and my thoughts did not must accept that image. I walked up in direction of the
rubble with disaster rising in my throat, on story of I did not look how someone could well
have survived the destruction visible, but I used to be attempting to power my thoughts
not to dismay. The the leisure of that stroll was a grisly sequence of the energy
of the twister: a solid prolonged-mattress trailer thrown against a pile of autos,
bushes ripped out or broken off. When I bought within about 150 yards I could well
look some of us standing within the rubble, and barely closer I used to be overjoyed
to look one amongst them as Ann. Imogen had already been extracted and
sent to refuge within the Performing Arts Heart, resulting from fraudulent experiences
of one more impending storm. Brian Fuselier was badly injured and had been
taken to the hospital, but Pat Marlatt was nonetheless trapped within the wreckage
at that stage and rescue personnel were transferring in. They were delayed in
arriving on story of there was some confusion between the fresh Performing Arts
Heart and the veteran Tawes constructing on the diversified facet of campus.

La Plata twister crossing Chesapeake Bay.



Substitute: On 2002 April 28, an F4 twister struck
southern Maryland (La Plata), killing four of us and destroying many constructions.
This was within the launch belief to have been an F5 twister and can have been
the most excessive twister recorded in Maryland. La Plata was also the positioning
of Maryland’s most threatening twister on November 9, 1926, when 17 of us
died, most of them in a tiny schoolhouse in La Plata.

A tree memorial for the Marlatt sisters has been planted
at La Plata Sea plug, a most widespread recreation living for campus college students lying
between two clusters of excessive-upward thrust dorms (La Plata Hall and Cumberland Hall).
Two tiny crosses consisting of tough-hewn stone cubes have been positioned
on the perimeter of the woods north of Easton Hall, discontinuance to the positioning where
the sisters’ automobile came to leisure.

There may be slight hint of the College Park twister now
visible around the MFRI space: the College bulldozed the living within
a couple of days in advise to prepare for the opening of the Clarice Smith Performing
Arts Heart the following weekend.  The tree trunks within the swamp to the
north of the MFRI constructing were eliminated, younger bushes were planted on the
hillside above (south of) the MFRI constructing, and the living of the trailer
constructing and its car parking zone is now a grassy hillside. On the diversified facet
of Stadum Power some landscaping between Easton Hall and College Blvd
has been donated by a neighborhood firm.

An catch entry to path has now been nick by the woods fringing
College Blvd on the west (golf path) facet, presumably to allow boring
bushes to be cleared. The harm on this living, about 200 yards away from
the well-known twister observe by campus on the east facet of divided College
Boulevard, is wide and makes you wonder if it was produced by
a 2d funnel, extensively reported and presumably visible in a couple of of the prolonged-range
photos of the twister in College Park.

MNCPPC is now (January 2003) erecting informational indicators
on the Paint Branch Circulation bike path, working along facet Paint Branch Golf
Direction between campus and the Beltway, relating to the twister harm that remains to be very visible there; they
it appears opinion not to realize any clearing and to allow the living to enhance
naturally. To the north of the golf path, alternatively, wide clearing
of the forest is taking space.

The College Park twister and the harm at MFRI is the
discipline of one amongst the 30 minute “Storm Experiences” produced by Tower Productions
for the Climate Channel and premiereing in January 2003.  This plot
functions wide interviews with the Marlatts and with Ann and Imogen.

Ann and Imogen were also featured in a Jane Pauley Mask
on survivors that aired within the community on September 24, 2004. They were flown
as much as Fresh York to realize an interview in front of a are living target market. The
survivors featured on this program were it appears picked by Jim Cantori
of the Climate Channel, who remarked that he remembered the College Park
twister for the tragedy of the Marlatt family.

The College Park twister now has its have Wikipedia page

On 2008 April 20, two tiny tornadoes touched down in
Maryland for the duration of a day of storms from a low-stress machine to the
south-east: an F1 struck a Seventh-Day Adventist well-known college in
Chillum, between Hyattsville and the DC border in Prince Georges County;
and loads to Tony Kornheiser’s satisfaction, the La Plata living (in reality,
St. Charles, closer to Waldorf) was hit over every other time, this time by an F0.


Catherine Plaisant’s digital digicam photos of the MFRI space
(neat 1600×1200 info, 700 kB, annotated):

About a of our photos (generally 400 kB):

AP photos (tiny):

Peter Teuben’s photo:



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