Storm downs trees, causes damage

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – A strong storm system moved swiftly through Hampton Roads and surrounding areas Friday afternoon, leaving fallen trees and damaged buildings in it’s wake.

Photos: Severe weather moves through HR

Residents in Gloucester reported storm damage across the county, including Gloucester Point Marina. Bobby Taylor told 10 On Your Side he was sitting nearby when winds from the storm were so strong they ripped parts of the marina roof off.

“I’m just standing here, and here comes the rain like a flood, and I turned around the roof is gone,” said Taylor. “It was over in the blink of an eye. The whole thing, it was unbelievable.”

Taylor is thankful, though, none of the boats docked at the marina were damaged.

“All in all, we’re kind of lucky that was all the damage it did, because it could been a whole lot worse,” said Taylor. “As far as we know none of the boats were damaged. There is just debris on them.”

Sheriff Darrell Warren with the Gloucester County Sheriff’s Office told WAVY.com there were reports of four to five homes damaged by fallen trees as well as power outages due to downed lines and utility poles. He said deputies responded to 24 incidents in just 20 minutes, on a priority basis.

Many people in the area described the storm as fast and intense.

“The sky got dark and before I could get to the window, small pieces of hail started falling. It came pretty quick,” said Troy Tillage, owner of Tillage Automotive.

Trees behind Tillage Automotive snapped in half due to the winds, hail and rain. The fallen trees crushed five customers cars that were awaiting repairs.

“It’s amazing what mother nature can do you know,” said Tillage. “We had a bigger storm a couple of years ago, but it’s still pretty amazing it can snap trees like that.”

Warren said there was an additional report of a tree that fell on a UPS truck on Pidgeonhill Road in the Hayes area around 1 p.m. The driver suffered minor injuries.

Trees were also reported down in York County and Smithfield. The storm moved through Portsmouth outside the WAVY News studios around 2 p.m. and carried heavy wind, rain and thunder. In Mathews County, one WAVY viewer sent in picture of hail about the size of a grape.

Thousands of Dominion Virginia Power customers were without power during some point of the storm, according to the company’s interactive outage map.

Norfolk International Airport also reported increased diversions and delays due to the storm.

When safe to do so, send storm reports and photos to reportit@wavy.com. Please include your name and where the photo was taken.

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