Virginia Beach declared state of emergency after tornado
The City of Virginia Beach has declared a state of emergency following a devastating tornado that struck the area on Sunday evening. While no injuries have been reported, between 50 and 100 homes have been damaged and hundreds more have likely been impacted, according to city officials.
The tornado, classified as an EF-3 with wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour, caused damage to dozens of homes, downed trees, and gas leaks. Emergency management representatives have suggested that the area will remain under a state of emergency declaration for some time as damage assessment teams continue to survey the area.
First responders and other city employees quickly responded to the situation and have so far searched 115 damaged structures. The Virginia Natural Gas and Dominion Energy have also responded to the situation, with the former attending to homes with gas leaks and the latter reporting just under 1,000 outages early Monday. Additionally, three local schools have been closed due to transportation challenges in impacted areas.
As a result of the severe weather, the Something in the Water festival in Virginia Beach canceled all events for Sunday, the third day of the festival. This severe weather in Virginia Beach follows thunderstorms, large hail, and at least one confirmed tornado in Florida on Saturday.
City officials have not yet provided an estimate of the total cost of the damages, but recovery efforts are underway. Residents in the affected areas are urged to exercise caution and stay alert as the city works to recover from the storm’s aftermath.
I urge everyone to stay safe after the severe weather threat has ended in Virginia Beach.
In the meantime, 311 is available 24 hours a day for questions and reporting non-emergency conditions.
— Governor Glenn Youngkin (@GovernorVA) May 1, 2023