Tornado hits Virginia Beach, damaging up to 100 homes and triggering state of emergency

By | May 1, 2023

Tornado left path of destruction in Palm Beach Gardens

Tornado left path of destruction in Palm Beach Gardens


The City of Virginia Beach declared a state of emergency after a tornado moved through the area Sunday and damaged dozens of homes, downed trees and caused gas leaks.

City officials said it’s unclear how many homes had been damaged but they estimated between 50 and 100, after the tornado touched down just after 6 p.m., CBS affiliate WTKR-TV reported.

“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.

City Manager Patrick Duhaney declared a state of emergency Sunday night.

Much of the damage had been reported in the area of River Road and N. Great Neck Road. It also includes Upper Chelsea Reach and Haversham Close.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Virginia Natural Gas responded to several homes with gas leaks and Dominion Energy was reporting just under 1,000 outages early Monday.

Great Neck Road will remain closed between Cox High School and the bridge at Adam Keeling Road until further notice to allow for emergency and debris management work to occur, the city said.

Crews will be out at 8 a.m. Monday to begin cleaning up streets.

Three schools were closed Monday due damage from the storm, the school district said.

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

“No one wants to make this call, but we cannot predict nor negotiate with the weather tonight. It is our responsibility to ensure public safety above all else,” Duhaney said. 

The severe weather in Virginia Beach came after thunderstorms, hail as large as golf balls and at least one confirmed tornado hit Florida on Saturday.

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