HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in Waverly Thursday night.
The rating was an EF-0, with a maximum wind speed of 75 mph. The path was 100 yards wide and 1.5 miles long. No one was injured.
“A brief and weak tornado developed just north of [Route] 460 and south of Petersburg Road, approximately one mile northwest of Waverly,” the National Weather Service said. “The tornado moved south, crossing [Route] 460 just north of Waverly. As the tornado tracked across [Route] 460, it struck the NAPA Auto Parts Store, causing only minor damage.”
The National Weather Service said Thursday a funnel cloud was spotted near Disputanta in Prince George County, prompting tornado warnings in nearby Southampton County, Sussex County, Isle of Wight County and Surry County. Warnings were later issued and extended for Gloucester County, Williamsburg, Franklin, Suffolk as well as outlying King and Queen County, King William County, Middlesex County and New Kent County.
Additional funnel clouds were reported in Wakefield and Franklin. The National Weather Service will visit each area to determine if a tornado touched down.
Residents in Gloucester County also reported seeing a funnel cloud.
“Standing at the back door, while I was talking on the news, looking right straight out through the woods here, and you could watch as the woods just completely disappeared,” Barry Blackburn told WAVY.com. “The clouds just come right down to the ground. Everything in the back disappeared. From the shed, all the way through the woods, all you could see was complete gray.”
In Waverly, trees fell across a portion of Route 460, closing the roadway. The road is heavily traveled, especially by tractor-trailers. Crews worked to remove the trees and get traffic flowing again.
At the NAPA Auto Parts store in Waverly, winds blew debris into the parking lot and against the windows. WAVY News’ Deanna LeBlanc reported the parking lot was covered in tree branches and debris Friday morning.
Anthony Jaramillo told WAVY News they received an alert on a cell phone to take cover. He went into the truck shop and locked everything down.
“It just got black all of a sudden and next thing you know, the hail came down and it was so loud that you couldn’t hear [anything] in that shop,” Jaramillo said. “The wind started hitting the door so hard that I went ahead and hid in the bathroom until it passed, and it lasted probably a good five minutes.”
He said the power was out for a few hours and people kept going to the store to use the restroom.
Now cleanup from the storm in Waverly begins. pic.twitter.com/ehTXl7bnE3
— Deanna LeBlanc (@DeannaWAVY) May 23, 2014
People cleaning up around Waverly said the damage was spotty. First Baptist Church of Waverly had several trees fall on their property. While the trees didn’t damage the building, one fell on in the middle of the church’s cemetery, damaging gravestones.
“We just feel like right now it’s not safe,” said Interim Pastor Ronald C. Taylor.
Taylor said the church has had to put caution tape up around the cemetery because the area isn’t considered safe right now. He said several trees appear to be leaning and police are worried they could fall at any moment.
The closed cemetery is upsetting to many church members. Around 40 veterans are buried at First Baptist Church of Waverly and Taylor said the cemetery won’t be cleaned up before Memorial Day.
“After we have surveyed the damage, and what needs to be done, then we’ll have a memorial service for the veterans, as well as the members of the church so they can come in and pay their respects,” Taylor said.