OCEAN CITY — The tornado or microburst that touched down in West Ocean City on Monday evening followed a distinct path and a trail of destruction roughly from the Ocean City Airport through West Ocean City and across the bay to 14th Street and Harbour Island, site of the 44th Annual White Marlin Open on the tournament’s first day.
Shortly before 5 p.m. on Monday, the National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for much of Worcester County and advised citizens to take shelter immediately. About an hour later, a tornado or microburst, which has not yet been clearly defined by the National Weather Service, impacted the Ocean City Airport in West Ocean City, downing trees and damaging one small airplane.
A large tree upended at the airport, falling on and damaging at least two rental cars belonging to a satellite rental car agency at the facility. In addition, a small plane that had just landed prior to the tornado warning was bounced around on the runway and suffered damage, according to airport manager Jamie Giandomenico. The two men aboard the plane immediately sought shelter upon arrival with the tornado warning posted and the aircraft was not completely secured before the high winds landed in the area.
“It was very, very localized,” he said. “It was super intense for maybe 90 seconds to two minutes. Then, it was gone just like that.”