Virginia Beach neighbors clean up tornado damage - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Virginia Beach neighbors clean up tornado damage


The weather which tore through Virginia Beach was more than just a storm -- it was a tornado. An EF-0 is low on the scale, but enough to cause major damage. In this case, buildings and roofs were torn up and people were sent running for cover from the combination of the tornado and straight line winds.

The damage stretched from Virginia Beach, to Norfolk, to Southhampton County. It wasn't just a tough time for the people who live there, but visitors alike.

One Richmond family comes here to the beach every summer to get away. But never did the mother and her two young children imagine they'd be dodging a storm and taking cover.

It's wide-spread damage the Hurst family from Richmond never thought they'd be walking into.

"The sky, it was like gray," said 7-year-old Charlie Hurst.

He his brother quickly took cover with their mother inside a Virginia Beach tattoo parlor.

"And along came a lot of people off the street as well and people were screaming it was shear pandemonium. People were saying ‘get in the back of the shop. Get in the back of the shop.' Everybody was hunched down," Sarah Hurst recounts.

Minutes later, they walked outside and saw all of the devastation.

The winds were so fierce, they blew the steeple right off of a church. Friday, repair crews were on hand working to get it all under control. But the storm didn't stop there. Right here across the street from the church, tree limbs fell on top of a fence, knocking it in half. Just a few blocks down, Reese Goldstein was inside his music store.

"I was doing what most people do when there's a storm, looking out the window and all of a sudden the windows shattered…We had a tent on our deck that completely collapsed, a big 20 by 20 canopy. All the windows on this side are broken out. My car windows {are} all shattered," Goldstein said.

"It does not look like this tornado actually made it all the way to the ground. It may have stayed just above the ground which kind of explains why the damage appears to be elevated to the roofs of structures as opposed to being at ground level," said Bill Sammler with the National Weather Service.

"I've been through a dozen hurricanes but that was insane," Goldstein added.

In South Hampton County, there were reports of golf-ball sized hail and a woman trapped in her home. She made it out ok. Things are getting back to normal there and in Virginia Beach - where survivors are relieved the storm has passed.

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