VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – At least 10 people were injured at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Thursday as severe weather, and at one point a tornado, moved through the area.
On Friday, the National Weather Service sent crews to survey the damage left behind and confirmed a weak EF-0 tornado swept through part of the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
Battalion Chief Amy Valdez with the Virginia Beach Fire Department said there was an approximate five block radius that was impacted by the storm. She said there was damage in the Birdneck section of the city, all the way to Pacific Avenue and 14th Street.
Sentara spokesman Dale Gauding told WAVY News Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital deployed its ‘mass casualty bus’ and a clinical team to 19th Street to help treat and transport patients hurt during the storm.
Valdez told WAVY News’ Andy Fox at least 10 people at the Oceanfront were injured. Gauding said six patients were taken to the hospital in two trips, and two were listed in critical condition, but their injuries were not life-threatening. Gauding said two children were taken to the hospital with injuries from flying glass. A woman was transported for a knee injury, as well as a man with a possible broken ankle.
On Friday, Gauding provided an update on the conditions of those injured. He said one of the patients originally listed in critical condition was discharged Thursday night. The other critical patient was in fair condition and all other patients were treated and released Thursday.
“[The storm] came in fast loud,” said Virginia Beach resident Reese Goldstein. “It was storming really bad. I was up by the front door. The door wouldn’t even open it was blowing so hard. All the sudden the glass shattered on the door and then the window right next to the door blew out behind me.”
Goldstein owns Half Moon Music and emerged from the store after the storm to an area littered with debris. A telephone pole was in the center of 16th Street, car windows were blown out, signs were knocked to the ground and trees were split in two.
One block over, on 15th Street, Jim Gallagher looked out his window and saw the top of his neighbor’s home was gone.
“I immediately called 911 and went over there to see if she was okay, and thank God she was,” Gallagher told WAVY.com.
Valdez said about 23 ambulances were available on the streets after the storm, plus all Virginia Beach fire crews. Valdez said they were dealing with a lot of accidents and flooded vehicles across the city, and she asked citizens to stay in their homes to help prevent additional injuries.
Police were also asking citizens to stay away from the Oceanfront Thursday evening, as emergency and clean up crews needed complete access to the area.
Drew Lankford with Virginia Beach Public Works told WAVY News city crews were spread out, but focusing on the Oceanfront and Sandbridge areas. On 17th Street, crews cleaned up glass and debris from the road, which reopened around 7 p.m.
Tom Gill with the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service said the storm destroyed some lifeguard stands at the Oceanfront. He said lifeguards were in the process of removing debris from the beach Thursday evening.
Thousands were without power in Hampton Roads during and after the storms. The bulk of outages occurred in Virginia Beach, according to Dominion Virginia Power.
In other sections of Virginia Beach, pictures sent to WAVY.com showed water coming through the ceiling of Lynnhaven Mall and several flooded streets.
Virginia State Police said a tornado touched down in Capron earlier in the day, but the National Weather Service said that was likely just straight-line winds.
Stay with WAVY News for the latest weather conditions in your area.