Damage reported as storms move through Virginia

Horse killed in storm, Emporia Walmart damaged

(WWBT) - Reports of storm damage are starting to come in as heavy rain and strong wind move through central Virginia.

A horse was killed after a tree fell into a pasture in Brunswick County, the sheriff’s office confirmed.

A fallen tree also caused damage to a home. The sheriff’s office said no one was reported injured and the tree did not directly fall onto the home.

The sheriff said damage shows a clear path of what appears to be a tornado that touched down in the area of Evans Creek Road.

Some trees were snapped in Farmville. A strong storm that generated a tornado warning passed through Farmville, but damage reports were minimal.

Minor to moderate damage was reported in Emporia as well. Customers at the Walmart near I-95 said they sheltered in place as the strong storm rolled through the area around 7 p.m.

RAW: Trees snapped by storm in Farmville

“It was scary,” said one woman. “The building was shaking and some insulation fell from the ceiling.”

Photos being shared on social media show the front doors to the store lying on the ground in the aftermath. Since then, they’ve been positioned upright, however the store did close early due to the damage.

“There’s some debris, trash cans blown around,” said Richie Blick, visiting his family in Emporia.

The storm also damaged some of the lawn mowers positioned in front of the store.

“It was pretty surreal because everything was pretty still," Blick said. "There were no trees blowing, the rain was coming straight down and then all of a sudden it kind of went crazy.”

Blick took recorded video at his family’s home not too far from the Walmart showing trees ferociously blowing in the wind. His family immediately headed to the bathroom shortly after the video was taken.

“We got an alert on our phone the same time the fire siren went off," Blick said. "It was a constant blare for minutes. I’ve never heard it blare like that so you knew it was something big.”

“It was thundering and stuff and it was so windy... I was so scared,” said Alivia Winstad, who hid in her closet as the storm passed through.

While NBC12 interviewed a group of children in the Walmart parking lot around 9:30 p.m. Friday sirens went off, but there were no reports of a tornado warning at that time.

Viewer photos also show some of the aftermath of the powerful storms that ripped through the area.

Trees were overturned in yards, some landing on cars. One woman sent pictures of a house blown off its foundation, siding and parts of the roof ripped off as well.

“It feels like you’re in a vacuum or something," Blick said. "You could feel it pass through.”

Authorities did not report any injuries as of Friday night. There’s still no confirmation on whether a tornado touched down in the area either.

Meanwhile, in the metro area neighborhoods saw plenty of downed trees.

Part of the Richmond-Henrico Turnpike was closed due to a tree falling in the road, taking out some power lines.

“It almost sounded like an explosion,” said Alice Johnson, of Richmond.

That’s when Johnson noticed the power go out around 1:30 p.m. and decided to investigate for herself to find out what made the noise.

“It was just total shock even though I wasn’t surprised because it was a matter of time knowing the condition of the trees,” she said.

Johnson has lived in the neighborhood off the Richmond-Henrico Turnpike for more than 50 years. She said many of the trees are older, and their roots have now started to buckle the sidewalk.

“I noticed when that when the tree came up it took the slab with it,” Johnson said.

“Especially with how wet the ground may already be from so much rain we’ve already had, rain and wind are never a good combination,” said Dominion Energy spokeswoman Samantha Moore.

That’s why Dominion Energy is asking homeowners to be on alert for any power lines that may be entangled in downed trees.

Moore said crews were prepared to respond to any outages that may pop up.

“We’ve seen some sporadic outages so far," she addedl. 'Nothing too widespread, but again we’ll just wait and see what happens.”

In the meantime, crews are busy tackling the outages already reported; chopping off limbs in order to get power restored as quickly as possible.

Nineteen flights were canceled at Richmond International Airport due to the weather.

The National Weather Service will be looking into more than half a dozen possible tornadoes based on reports and radar signatures. It may take as long as a week to make final determinations.

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