Saturday, June 2, 2012

Damage, but no serious injuries, as tornado strikes Hampton

The city was cleaning up this morning after a tornado swept through downtown Hampton on Friday evening and knocked out power to more than 5,000, damaged tents for the weekend's Blackbeard Pirate Festival and moved a yacht from the water at the Hampton Yacht Club into a parking lot.

With a wind speed of 98 miles-per-hour, the twister began around 8 p.m. as a waterspout touchdown on the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado traveled a 3.5-mile path from Chesapeake Avenue, through downtown Hampton and into the Chesapeake Bay.

Hundreds of homes were damaged in the Merrimac Shores and Wythe neighborhoods. Closer to downtown, homes, business and boats also sustained significant damage, according to the Weather Service.

The twister took Hampton residents by surprise. The city does not have warning sirens, according to Robin McCormick, the city's communications director. Read More