Communities all throughout the Virginia Beach region were cleaning up on Monday following a strong storm that destroyed 50 to 100 houses and at least one verified tornado, according to the authorities. The coastal municipality’s city manager, Patrick Duhaney, announced a state of emergency on Sunday evening as it prepared to dispatch personnel to sweep up debris from public streets on Monday morning and seek sanctuary for residents whose homes had been destroyed.
According to Mike Montefusco, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Wakefield, Virginia, the tornado passed through the Fort Story neighborhood in northern Virginia Beach just before 6 o’clock. On Monday, a study will confirm the precise route of the tornado. Despite the damage to the local homes, there were no early reports of casualties. Five individuals were sleeping at the shelter at the Great Neck Recreation Centre as of 9 p.m. on Sunday, according to Tiffany Russell, a spokesperson for the city of Virginia Beach. Emergency personnel were patrolling the neighborhood by bus and picking up anyone who needed to be transported there. According to the city, several residents had reported gas leaks.
According to reports, several boats reportedly broke free of their moorings, toppled over, and sustained damage. To assess the effect and rescue the boats, the city collaborated with the U.S. Coast Guard and the Port of Virginia Maritime Incident Response team. According to a tweet from the Virginia Beach Fire Department, they were responding to “calls for major storm damage to multiple homes” in the Great Neck neighborhood.
On Sunday night, there were reported power outages all around Hampton Roads and Virginia Beach. According to Dominion Energy’s outage map, there were less than 300 customers without electricity as of Monday morning, down from more than 14,000 on Sunday. The last day of Something In the Water, a music event that the National Weather Service was scheduled to attend, was also postponed by Virginia Beach officials on Sunday. According to Ms. Russell, the Weather Service representatives stayed on site to assist with storm response.
The city manager, Mr. Duhaney, announced the cancellation in a message on Facebook with the words, “No one likes to make this call, but we cannot forecast nor negotiate with the weather tonight. Above everything things, it is our duty to protect the public.