Tornado cost to county put at $1 million


The tornado that ripped through Reisterstown Thursday afternoon is expected to cost Baltimore County up to $1 million, said County Administrator Frank Robey.

Mr. Robey said that overtime for police and firefighters, coupled with costs to inspect and condemn buildings, repair utilities, handle traffic and find shelter for those left homeless will likely amount to between $750,000 and $1 million.

The county will continue to operate an emergency center at Franklin Middle School, 120 Main St., Reisterstown, until 6 p.m. Wednesday, Mr. Robey said.

He said county housing officials, the American Red Cross and Citywide Management Inc., the firm that operates the apartment complex hit hardest by the storm, have been working to find shelter for homeless families, many of whom have been staying with relatives and friends.

Last night, the Red Cross put up 12 families still without housing at the Comfort Inn in Pikesville, said Red Cross volunteer Elaine Calhoun.

A spokesman for the Maryland Emergency Management Agency said last night that the storm, which hit the Reisterstown area at 4:20 p.m. Thursday, caused an estimated $9.5 million in damages to 52 houses and 146 apartments.

Mr. Robey said that 105 apartments, 22 garden apartments and two single-family homes have been condemned by county building inspectors. He added that 50 police officers remained at the scene yesterday to control traffic, help victims get belongings from condemned homes and provide security.

Donations from various agencies have been helping the Red Cross provide for families that lost their homes and belongings in the storm.

The United Way, for example, canceled its annual mid-campaign luncheon and donated $3,000 that corporations had already paid for their employees to attend the event, said Mel Tansill, United Way spokesman.

Mr. Tansill said the agency donated another $2,000 offered by Crown Central Petroleum Corp., whose chairman, Henry A. Rosenberg Jr., is chairing this year's United Way of Central Maryland campaign.

The rock band Little Feat also got involved by urging those attending its two concerts at Painter's Mill Friday and Saturday to bring money and food. The band and concertgoers donated $950 in cash, 10 boxes of food and several large bags of clothing to the Red Cross, a spokeswoman said.


Anyone needing financial assistance should call the Baltimore County Department of Community Development at 887-3317.

People wishing to make donations should call the Red Cross at 764-7000.

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