Hampton Downtown Tornado: EF1 Causes Damage, No Injuries

An EF1 tornado with wind speeds of 98 miles per hour touched down in Hampton after 8 p.m. Friday night, according to the National Weather Service. The tornado began as a water spout at 8:13 p.m. with power flashes on the Monitor Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel.

The tornado formed passing through Chesapeake Avenue and Downtown Hampton and then hit the local Yacht Club before moving into the Chesapeake Bay.

The twister had maximum path width of 0.3 miles and maximum length of 3.5 miles, according to the National Weather Service.

Trees and power lines were downed, and dry-docked boats at the Hampton Yacht Club were tossed about in the parking lot. Windows were blown out of the building and the roof was partially damaged, the National Weather Service said.

At Hampton University, there was no major damage to any buildings, but there were a few downed trees that will need to be cleaned up, said spokeswoman Yuri Rodgers Milligan.

A home in the 800 block of Park Place suffered extensive damage and was condemned Friday, according to Cpl. Jason Price, a spokesman for Hampton police. In Merrimac Shores, a tree fell on a home on Catesby Jones Drive.

Merrimac Shores, the historic area along Bridge Street, Wythe and Park Place were among the hardest hit neighborhoods, McCormick said.

The downtown area also had significant damage. City officials are urging the public to stay away from the affected areas unless they live there, McCormick said.

As many as 5,700 Peninsula households were without power at 9 p.m. Friday night, mostly in Hampton and Poquoson, said Dominion Virginia Power spokeswoman Bonita Harris. Work crews had identified 42 sites that needed repairs, mostly power lines downed by falling trees and limbs, she said. Shortly after midnight, power had been restored to parts of downtown, though at least 1,400 customers were still without power Saturday morning, Harris said.

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