Man waits out storm, unaware of twister nearby


August 03, 1994|By LARRY STURGILL

Thomas Scalie, a Harper's Choice resident who works for an Annapolis construction company, was nearly a victim of last week's violent weather.

He was only a few hundred yards away from an apparent tornado that touched down near Clinton, in Prince George's County.

"We had worked until 7 p.m. and I had just finished loading some equipment on my truck when the rain started coming down really hard," he said. "A couple of the guys drove off in their trucks, but I decided to wait until the storm blew over."

Moments later, the storm struck with full fury.

"The wind started blowing real hard," Mr. Scalie says. "My truck started shaking, and there was a low roaring sound, like thunder that wouldn't stop."

A few minutes later it was over and the rain began to let up. Unaware of what had happened, Mr. Scalie began the drive back to Columbia.

"I didn't know anything about the tornado until I got home and saw it on TV," he says. "And, I didn't know how close it came to me until I went back to the job site on Thursday morning and saw some of the damage it did just a few hundred yards from where I had parked.

"Everyone was asking if I saw it. I told them I probably heard it, but it was raining so hard, I couldn't see anything."

Mr. Scalie, who is originally from California, says he has never seen a tornado and hopes he never does.

"That was close enough for me."


If you want to experience the wondrous and sometimes startling beauty of a hidden underground world, the Howard County Department of Recreation and Parks has another caving trip scheduled for Aug. 13.

Anyone 16 and older will have the opportunity to explore several wild caves in Western Maryland and West Virginia with guides Dave Sherman and Tom Hinds, two experienced cave explorers.

These are noncommercial caves, so don't expect lighted passages and paved pathways. The only light will be a head lamp and flashlight, and explorers can expect to get tired, muddy, and wet, crawling and squirming through cave passages.

Cavers will leave from Cedar Lane Park at 8 a.m. and return at 5 p.m. The fee for the trip is $31, and includes all necessary caving equipment and transportation. For additional information, or to register, call Peggi Smith at 313-7254 or 313-2762.

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