A downed tree in North Laurel ripped through a three-story apartment building Wednesday afternoon, causing 34 residents to be displaced and injuring two people.
At approximately 1:25 p.m., firefighters and special operations crews from Howard County's Department of Fire and Rescue Services responded to the 9100 block of Stebbing Way for reports of tree collapse, according to a news release.
They found that a downed tree had fallen onto the back of a three-story building, causing extensive damage. The department declared the incident an extended operation, meaning crews will remain on scene for the rest of the day. The entire 12-unit complex was deemed uninhabitable.
The department said they encourage, as heavy rains and high winds continue to impact the region, to remain vigilant and follow safety tips provided by Ready.gov.
As heavy rains and high winds continue to affect the region, HCDFRS encourages residents to follow the safety tips as recommended by Ready.gov:
class="li3">Avoid moving water and stay away from damaged areas.
class="li3">Stay on firm ground. Moving water only 6 inches deep can sweep you off your feet. Standing water may be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
class="li3">Flooding may have caused familiar places to change. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways. Flood debris may hide animals and broken bottles, and it's also slippery. Avoid walking or driving through it.
class="li3">Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads and trees may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
class="li3">Use extreme caution when entering buildings; there may be hidden damage, particularly in foundations.