The University of Maryland, College Park campus suffered at least $15 million in damage from Monday's deadly tornado, according to a preliminary estimate from school officials.
The figure was released by UM spokesman George Cathcart as inspectors from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and their Maryland counterparts tour- ed devastated areas on campus and elsewhere in preparation for an anticipated application for federal assistance.
Meanwhile, cleanup efforts made speedy progress, most roads reopened and power outages were down to about 300 homes and businesses.
The estimated costs of repairs are certain to grow as reports from Laurel and other areas along the twister's 10-mile path are completed - possibly as early as today.
Michael Morrill, a spokesman for Gov. Parris N. Glendening, said he thought it was "likely that the state would qualify for federal assistance" once the damage estimates are confirmed.
The governor said earlier that Maryland would apply for aid if uninsured losses surpassed $5 million - the minimum for a federal claim.
Like many state and government facilities, buildings on the campus are not insured because officials believe it is cheaper to pay for repairs as needed than to buy protection.
The large, privately owned University Courtyard apartment complex off University Boulevard needs an estimated $1.5 million in repairs, its owner, Ambling Inc., said yesterday.
Two of eight buildings in the complex were ready for students to return to last night, and two more will be reopened this weekend, Cathcart said. The other four will be closed for repairs for another few weeks. Some residents of those buildings returned to their apartments with escorts yesterday to retrieve belongings.
Classes resumed at the University of Maryland, College Park, where workers have managed to clear most of the debris and fallen trees that littered the northern end of the campus.
As expected, College Park suffered extensive traffic tie-ups yesterday morning because of the closing of University Boulevard (Route 193), where downed power lines and trees still blocked the road.
By late afternoon yesterday, three of four lanes on U.S. 1 near the campus had been reopened, according to David Buck, a spokesman with the Maryland highway department.
University Boulevard was open later in the day, Buck said.
The UMCP parking lot where as many as 600 cars were damaged in the storm was mostly cleared yesterday, with the most severely damaged cars moved to the rear, Cathcart said.
"We had cots set up in the recreation center and the student union, but none of them were used, so it looks like most people were able to find friends and bunk up with them," said Cathcart.
A BGE spokeswoman said power was restored late Tuesday to all customers affected by the storm.
PEPCO, the District of Columbia-area utility, was working on 300 homes and businesses without electricity. Residents were given dry ice to keep their refrigerators cool, said company spokeswoman Makini Street.
Even those seriously injured by the funnel cloud said yesterday they were feeling better.
"I'm one of the most fortunate people around," said Brian Fuselier, 36, the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute's information technology coordinator.