A shed in Prince George was destroyed, though the motorcycle inside remained upright, when an EF0 tornado touched down Thursday.
PRINCE GEORGE, VA (WWBT) -
The National Weather Service confirms two tornadoes touched down in Central Virginia during a string of severe weather Thursday.
Both tornadoes were rated EF0 on the Fujita scale, the lowest possible rating, according to the National Weather Service.
The first tornado hit in Northern Prince George near Hopewell at 5:45 p.m. Experts believe the winds reached a maximum of 70 miles per hour and the tornado's total path was less than 100 yards.
The second tornado touched down around 6:20 p.m. near Waverly along Route 460. It was both stronger, with winds reaching 75 miles per hour, and touch down for a longer stretch. The tornado's path was about 1.5 miles, causing minor damage to a NAPA auto parts store and a church, according to experts.
One backyard garage ended up in the front lawn, on 9300 block of Kurnas Lane, in northern Prince George County. The heap of metal stood as Melissa Gressman's garage, until she saw a twister aiming for the house.
"There was hail coming down the size of golf balls… I looked up, and I saw the funnel cloud coming towards us," said Gressman.
Gressman grabbed her dog, Buck, and rushed for the bathtub, the safest spot in her home, with no basement. "I thought Buck, me and the bathroom would be the only things left!"
Then, Gressman watched as the tornado uprooted the garage. "I saw the garage lifting and coming towards the house. I said, ‘Oh my gosh!'"
The tornado blew the garage walls from their foundation, leaving behind the floor, and most things inside, including a motorcycle. The garage barreled through the backyard fence surrounding the pool, likely flew over the roof of the house (taking out some of the shingles), mowed over a tree in the front lawn, and finally got tangled up in the power lines, in front of the home. What's left is a mangled mess.
"I couldn't believe the garage was sitting on the power lines. But I was kind of thankful because that meant it didn't hit the houses in front of me," continued Gressman.
Gressman's back yard is a large, barren field, which she believes gives way to a mini tornado alley. That's where Gressman saw the funnel spiraling towards the house. She says storms have targeted her house several times before.
The tornado was relatively small, registering an EF-0. It's path was less than 100 yards. The National Weather Service reports that winds were around 70 miles an hour.
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