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EF1 Tornado Stormed Through Baltimore City, County

BALTIMORE (WJZ) ―It's going to be a long time before things get back to normal for people living in the areas slammed by the EF1 tornado and straight-line winds that passed through Baltimore city and county on Wednesday morning.

The extent of the damage is still hard to comprehend. Hundreds of homes and apartments are damaged and others are condemned, as crews make repairs on others.

Is closely following the clean up and recovery efforts. We begin with Mike Schuh in northeast Baltimore city.

Northeast Baltimore has never seen anything like it. Some units at Dutch Village Apartments have been condemned.

"We have not had an incident like it as I can remember," said Reggie Scriber, Baltimore City housing commissioner. "When you have a total of 359 units and everybody has to move out at one time, that's devastating."

It is a sight to see: men in trees torn from the Earth; metal everywhere.

Before the clean up police check on ease and only allow residents near condemned buildings. Out of the 54 units that were condemned, the city managed to find places to stay for residents of 44 units.

Laura Dixon will stay at her relative's house.

"I was sleep," Dixon said of the storm that passed through around 1:30 a.m. "It felt like a freight train coming through. It shakes, literally shakes."

Though the storm was brief, "as soon as I looked up, no roof," Dixon added.

Her possessions, she says aren't that important.

"God is good. I'm still here," she said. "I'm still here. That's all that matters to me. No one got hurt, and I'm safe."

Even the mayor is surprised of the lack of fatalities.

"It was a true miracle, and I want to take a moment to thank God for sparing lives yesterday," said Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

Amidst the devastation, there have been reports of looting. There is now a huge police presence in hard hit areas in Baltimore city.

First Warning Weather coverage continues with Derek Valcourt in Parkville.

In parts of Parkville on Thursday, saws were buzzing, hatchets were flying and limbs were falling.

"Total debris all over the yard," said Dennis Boyd. "It's just a mess."

Homeowners were up to their elbows in hard work. It's been a little bit of sweat because it's not just one or two trees down. Dozens of monstrous trees have toppled.

"Do you see any trees standing? Well there's one, but everyone's been hit," said John Daily.

With so many trees down, BGE is still out in force fixing things as are plenty of contractors hired to quickly replace or repair damaged roofs on several homes and garages.

Many of these yards look like a disaster zone with trees down everywhere.  Many of the homeowners are still waiting for their insurance adjusters to come out and survey the damage.

"Don't know how much of it they're going to cover and how much of it I've got to cover," said homeowner Jim Kane.

No matter where the money comes from, it all adds up to a business bonanza for tree trimmers and contractors.

"It's gonna make a lot of people happy that do this for a living like me," said one tree trimmer.

But home owners like Cameron Brandon aren't smiling. He's lost too much and knows the cleanup ahead won't be easy.

Fire officials say that 92 homes were damaged in Baltimore County, three of which were damaged so severely that they were deemed unihabitable. Most of those people are staying with family and friends.

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