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College Park tornado kills four

Faith Bergman April 17, 2017

COLLEGE PARK, Md. At around 10:15 a.m. a tornado hit the University of Maryland. The
tornado touched down after a thunderstorm warning was announced for the area. The intersection
of Knox Road and Baltimore Avenue has suffered the greatest impact.

College Park Mayor Lara Hollenczer has advised local residents to take shelter in Ritchie
Coliseum, only if the route is safe to travel. Students currently in their dorms should stay there
but move away from windows. Residents are urged to head to a basement or lower level if they

Due to fallen power lines, half of the city is currently without electricity. The mayors office has
contacted Baltimore Gas and Electric, who are working on repairs. There is no information yet as
to when power will return.

Heavy thunderstorms are projected for the next hour.

According to the National Weather Service, [the tornado] was rated an EF3, said Hollenczer.

The mayor has also reached out to Governor Larry Hogan to issue a state of emergency.

I have talked to Hogan who has just declared a state of emergency. We will be getting help in
our search and rescue efforts from Anne Arundel, Prince Georges County, Howard County, and
Montgomery County, said Hollenczer.

Many roads are blocked and some first responders are currently trapped in Mowatt Garage, near
South Campus Commons. The Prince Georges County Fire Department, as well as the College
Park Fire Department, are on the scene.

Several fatalities have been reported, but more information will not be released until the families
have been notified.

However, these numbers are very fluid. We are still trying to reach areas that have been
affected, said Hollenczer.

The mayor said that the injured were taken to Prince Georges County General Hospital.
Twenty-four residents are currently being treated.

The last tornado to hit the area was back in 2012, which killed 24 people and caused millions of
dollars in damages.

The mayors office will be providing updates as the situation progresses.If you have any
information or need to report an injury, please call 911.