Virginia to conduct annual statewide tornado drill

Virginia to hold statewide tornado drill

RICHMOND, VA (AP/WWBT) - State emergency management officials will conduct Virginia’s annual statewide tornado drill on Tuesday morning.

The drill will start at approximately 9:45 a.m. with a test tornado warning sent by the National Weather Service to National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration weather radios.

Local radio stations, TV stations and cable outlets will broadcast the test message via the Emergency Alert System. Schools, businesses and other participants should register for the drill with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

Officials are urging residents to use the drill as an opportunity to test their tornado emergency procedures, discuss preparedness efforts and know where to seek safe shelter when a tornado warning is issued.

In 2018, 31 confirmed tornadoes touched down in Virginia from January through November including two outbreaks in Central Virginia in the falls.

NBC12 Viewer video of tornado near Huguenot Bridge

One of these twisters in September was an EF-2 with winds of 120 mph in Chesterfield County as remnants of Hurricane Florence moved through. That storm hit the Speeks Drive area, cutting a path of damage of 400 yards wide.

The storms killed at least one person as a building collapsed at Old Dominion Flooring in Chesterfield. More than 10,000 Dominion Energy customers were without power as the storms raced through the region on Sept. 17.

Aerial footage shows extent of tornado damage

In October, the National Weather Service confirmed that seven tornadoes touched down in Virginia as Tropical Storm Michael passed through the state.

(Copyright 2019 The Associated Press/WWBT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)