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High Winds Topple 30 Trees at Mt. Aetna

“All of us feel that is nothing short of a miracle.”

A microburst storm producing wind gusts over 70 miles per hour knocked down more than 30 trees at the Mt. Aetna Retreat Center in Hagerstown, Md., in the early morning hours of May 7. The damaged trees included some of the retreat center’s largest trees, measuring 2.5 to 3 feet in diameter.

Despite the significant tree damage, none of the retreat center’s buildings were struck by falling trees, including occupied guest cabins. Guests reported hearing a freight train-like noise and the sound of trees and limbs falling. No one was injured during the storm.

“All of us feel that is nothing short of a miracle,” says Glen Milam, Mt. Aetna Retreat Center director. “The only structural damage we have found is that a very large tree fell down through our amphitheater. It missed the sound booth and the stage but just flattened many of the benches. We had one tree narrowly miss a cabin that was occupied at the time but other than that, there was no damage to structures. The trees even missed all the road signs.”

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