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National Weather Service Confirms Tornado Touched Down In Delaware

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Jan-Carabeo-web-social-pic-no-branding Jan Carabeo
Jan Carabeo joined CBS 3 and The CW Philly’s Eyewitness News team ...
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By Jan Carabeo

CAMDEN, Del. (CBS) – The National Weather Service confirmed a high end EF-1 tornado touched down in Delaware Thursday and the damage is incredible. (See Previous Story)

The NWS say winds reached up to 105 MPH.

The tornado touched down near Route 208 and Tower Road.

This scene says it all — a mobile home ripped from its foundation and tossed back to the ground like a tin can.

PHOTOS: Hail And Storm Damage

This is the worst of it here in Kent County, Delaware. That home destroyed, two more condemned and up to 15 others damaged by this tornado.

An entire life upside-down in an instant as an EF-1 tornado rips through this neighborhood in Camden, Delaware.

“Never seen anything like this around here, looks like a war zone,” said Eddie Sandstrom of Dover.

“It’s terrible. It’s really sad,” Jennifer Moran of Dover said.

Chopper 3 over the scene showing the scope of this storm. And on the ground, the power of it.

Hardy trees snapped in two heavy branches taking out what the funnel missed.

“I’m amazed, I’m amazed,” said Gary Laing of Delaware Emergency Management.

As DelDOT started the clean-up Friday morning the National Weather Service tracked the tornado’s path.

“A high-end, EF-1 tornado, that was embedded in a larger downburst,” Joe Miketta of National Weather Service said.

Folks in the area had a 29-minute warning to find a safe spot Thursday.

The funnel first touching down here a mile away on Tower Road around 4:30 p.m.

“My parents live next door and they just finished rebuilding from Hurricane Sandy,” Mike Houdek of Camden said.

More rebuilding now needed here and here where the tornado lifted near Darling Farm Road.

Only two injuries, not life-threatening, through it all — in part due to a fast acting neighbor.

Neighbors here tell me they saw a funnel cloud pick up a mobile home right from its foundation and toss it back to the ground.

Barbara Smith Morlock’s mobile home ending up on top of her husband.

“There’s no words, I have no words to describe what it feels like,” Barbara Smith Morlock of Camden said.

She is  recovering today physically and emotionally after her mobile home in Camden was destroyed.

“Regular wind turned into something I’ve never heard before. I heard the ominous roar and I knew what was coming,” said neighbor Ronald Killen of Camden.

A tornado starting on Tower Road and making its way a mile to them.

Killen was at home on Luther Marvel Drive, as the funnel passed by snapping hardy trees and heading to his neighbor.

“I turned and looked, and it was taking the home and spinning it like a football spiral. And then it landed,” he said.

He raced to the scene to help.

Barbara had been out back in a shed her husband though was inside.

“I was running around here like a maniac yelling for him, I thought he was dead,” she said.

A half-hour later under this mattress came a cough.

But on top of that was a bureau and all the debris.

Killen picked all of it up and off.

“His face as full of glass, sticking out all over.”

Yet, Barbara’s husband survived.

“He’s been through hell and back.”

An astonishing trip made even more evident as Delaware Governor Jack Markell toured the hardest hit areas of Kent County.

“When you see something like this, by the grace of God, nothing more serious happened,” Markell said.

And with destruction all around, a symbol of brighter days. A robin’s egg in tact ready to hatch — life goes on in the middle of tragedy.

Besides this home, two more homes are condemned and up to 15 others are damaged.

A lot of clean up and rebuilding here on the days ahead.

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