Tornado hits Virginia Beach, damaging hundreds of homes and triggering state of emergency

Tornado leaves path of destruction in Palm Beach Gardens

A Virginia Beach city declared a state of emergency after an EF-3 tornado moved through the area Sunday, damaging dozens of homes, downing trees and causing gas leaks.

There were no immediate reports of injuries and there was no need to rescue anyone from the rubble of the collapsed buildings, officials said Monday. However, they noted that the rescue efforts were carried out amid severe weather conditions.

Municipal officials said It’s unclear how many homes were damaged, but estimates ranged from 50 to 100 after the tornado hit just after 6 p.m.

“We’ve had a tremendous response from our first responders and many city employees,” Duhany told reporters. “We don’t have all the answers right now. We’re working to get a full picture of the extent of the damage, but we know hundreds of homes could have been affected.”

The Virginia Beach Fire Department shared dramatic drone footage of the damage on Facebook. “Our hearts go out to the Great Neck community and all those affected by last night’s storm,” the department wrote. “We are thankful that no lives were lost.”

Meteorologists classified the twister as an EF-3 tornado, according to the National Weather Service. Confident. A rating that falls in the middle of the Enhanced Fujita — or EF — scale, which ranks hurricanes from 0 to 5, means a hurricane is “severe,” with wind speeds estimated between 136 and 165 miles per hour. Company. Scientists use the EF scale to rate a hurricane’s wind speed based on the damage it caused.

Damage assessment teams continued to survey the area Monday as officials worked to come up with a more definitive assessment. Public safety personnel have searched 115 damaged buildings so far, according to an emergency management representative, who suggested the area will remain under a state of emergency for some time.

Three local schools were closed on Monday as the superintendent cited traffic “challenges” in the affected areas.

“Based on the debris signature on radar, damage reports and videos of the storm, we can confirm that there was a tornado,” the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia, said. In a tweet.

River Road and N. The Great Neck Road area is said to have suffered the most damage. It also includes Upper Chelsea Reach and Haversham Close.

Virginia Natural Gas responded to several homes with gas leaks and Dominion Energy reported fewer than 1,000 outages early Monday.

Three schools were closed on Monday due to storm damage The school district said.

As a result of the severe weather, the Something in the Water festival in Virginia Beach canceled all events for Sunday, the festival’s third day. Cancelled.

“No one wants to make this call, but we can’t predict or negotiate the weather tonight. Above all else, our responsibility is to ensure public safety,” Duhany said.

The severe weather in Virginia Beach came after thunderstorms, large hail and at least one A hurricane has been confirmed to hit Florida on Saturday.

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