MILFORD — Paula Miller first heard strong winds and rain when she was going up the stairs in her home. Then, she looked out the window and saw a tree coming toward the house.
The tree busted her plants on her patio and even some branches and leaves landed on her car. Thankfully, no harm came to the car.
“They’re (the trees) so big and everything. They all were down scrunched in front of the back door (and) I can’t get out the door,” said Ms. Miller, a resident of Milford for more than 20 years.
Ms. Miller was one of many residents Downstate who saw the damage severe thunderstorms and a tornado did to the area Thursday night.
In a tweet Friday, the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey, said a survey crew confirmed “a tornado did occur south of Harrington in Delaware on Thursday, but the rating and other details are still being worked out. The survey is still ongoing and the crew is heading to investigate the other areas of possible tornado damage.”
At 5:06 p.m. Thursday, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Big Stone Beach, 15 miles north of Georgetown, moving east at 45 mph, according to the NWS.
Just after 5 p.m., severe thunderstorms were located along a line extending from eight miles northeast of Bowers to Gumboro, moving east at 35 mph.
The city will collect storm debris as it toppled trees and impacted electric service. City staff will collect debris through July 12. For pickup, all storm debris must be on the curb inside and/or outside the brown yard waste can.
Residents can call Milford’s Customer Service Department at 422-6616 with questions and to schedule storm debris pickup.
During the storm, Milford lost electric service in several communities due to weather conditions, spokeswoman Sara Pletcher said in a news release.
Outages impacted mostly residential service, she said, but there were “also scattered instances of traffic signals and in one case, a sanitary sewer pump station, but without consequence.”
According to Michael Svaby, Milford Public Works director, “Our Electric and Public Works crews were on standby during the storm and were prepared to act in short order, as always. While the city experienced a handful of outages, power was quickly restored to all homes and businesses in Milford.”
Power was restored by late evening, but lost again in the early hours of Friday. It was again restored as of 7 a.m., Ms. Pletcher said.
Delaware Electric Cooperative spokeswoman Lauren Irby said 4,843 members were affected by the storm, and all power was restored by 11:34 p.m. Thursday. Three calls arrived after that, and those issues were resolved by 7:38 a.m. Friday, she said.
Power loss peaked at 5:57 p.m., when 3,578 members were experiencing outages, Ms. Irby said. The Milford and Seaford areas had the highest number of impacted members.
“We appreciated our members sticking with us during the storm, and we hope everyone remained safe,” Ms. Irby said.
Tree crews were mobilized to clean up debris in several areas, Ms. Irby said.
As for Delmarva Power, spokesman Timothy Stokes said service to all customers in Delaware was restored by just prior to 8 a.m. Friday.
Less than 700 Delmarva Power customers had service interruptions in Delaware, Mr. Stokes said. More than 5,500 DP customers overall were affected by the storm, which included those in Maryland.
Reports of outages to the operations center began arriving around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
“Our crews worked throughout the evening and early (Friday) morning to safely restore service to all customers as quickly as possible,” Mr. Stokes said.
Via Facebook, the Lewes Board of Public Works said that a power line went down during the storm there, creating a power outage.