Torando Strikes Sussex

Tornado Damage

An EF-2 tornado with winds of 120 mph struck Delaware Electric Cooperative’s service territory the morning of April 15th. The storm knocked out power to six-thousand Co-op members and left debris scattered for several miles across Sussex County. The worst of the damage was focused in the Seaford area along Rt. 20 and Baker Mill Road. The second floor was ripped from a home and numerous barns and outbuildings were destroyed. An Utz distribution center and chicken houses were also heavily damaged. The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Sussex County around 3:30 a.m. and outages were first reported around 3:45 a.m. Co-op crews worked all day to restore power to Co-op members. Linemen had to replace broken poles, cross arms and spans of line damaged by the severe weather. Delaware Emergency Management officials reported one injury as a result of the storm. According to DEC President and CEO Bill Andrew, “We are grateful the tornado didn’t claim any lives. It has been years since the State has seen storm damage this severe. We appreciated the words of encouragement from members as our crews worked hard to turn the lights back on and we are hopeful our members impacted by the storm are able to quickly rebuild.” Tornados seem to be occurring frequently in Delaware. In 2017, a tornado damaged DEC’s headquarters in Greenwood and a stronger tornado ripped through DEC’s service territory in Kent County in 2014, injuring several members.