Breaking Updates: Eastern Shore tornado coverage

NWS confirms tornado damage

Damage at Cherrystone Campground on July 24, 2014. (Photo byDonald Henderson)

UPDATE at 8:45 p.m.: Northampton County Emergency Management has made lodging arrangements for all families impacted by the tornado. The emergency shelter at Northampton County High School will close at 9 p.m. and the county will stop accepting donations of food, water, clothing, etc.

Cash donations can be given to the American Red Cross for families of the tragedy.

Officials say Cherrystone Campground is closed until further notice.


UPDATE at 4 p.m.: Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said two people were confirmed dead after a tornado twisted its way through Cherrystone Campground in Cheriton, Va. Thursday morning.

Tornado Coverage on

Geller said a tree fell on the couple’s tent. The husband and wife, both 38-years-old, are from New Jersey. Troopers identified the couple as Lord Balatbat and Lolibeth Ortega. Geller said their 13-year-old son was taken by helicopter to CHKD with serious injuries.

Geller said an additional 33 people were taken to area hospitals. Geller gave that information at a Virginia State Police press conference at the campground Thursday afternoon. The timeline of the storm and aftermath she provided is available on — click here for details and video.

VIDEOS: WAVY News’ coverage of Eastern Shore storm on July 24, 2014

Later in the afternoon the National Weather Service confirmed an EF-1 tornado, straight line winds, and a large swath of hail were responsible for the destruction on the Eastern Shore.

Photos: Eastern Shore tornado damage

As of Wednesday night, 1,328 people were listed as residents or visitors at Cherrystone Campground and an additional 44 staff members. Geller said all have been accounted for. Between 150 and 175 people lost their shelter and were transported from the campground to a local emergency shelter.

Damages can be reported to the county’s Emergency Management Office at 757-678-0442.

PHOTOS: Chopper 10 flies over Eastern Shore storm damage


Update at 3:24 p.m.: Gov. McAuliffe is planning to return to Virginia on the next available flight. A spokesperson for the governor says he will visit the Eastern Shore Friday to survey the damage and meet with people who were impacted.


Update at 2:53 p.m.: The Red Cross has arrived at the Cherrystone Campgrounds. WAVY News’ Erin Kelly says others are dropping off lunches.


Update at 2:50 p.m. from WAVY News’ Lex Gray: The Northampton County Sheriff’s Office says people will be taken back to the campground via a school bus, 20 at a time.


Update at 2:25 p.m.: WAVY News’ Erin Kelly reports the road to Cherrystone Campground reopened in Cheriton, but it is unclear if anyone will be allowed back in at this time. Lex Gray reported the first people to be let back on the campground would be those without their wallets, phones, etc. A time has not yet been announced for when people will be allowed back into the campgrounds.


Update at 1:50 p.m.: Dale Gauding with Sentara says weather conditions have improved, and their Nightingale helicopter is cleared to fly. It is headed to the Eastern Shore to pick up a pediatric patient, who will be taken to CHKD.


Update at 1:38 p.m.: WAVY News’ Lex Gray spoke to Roswell Henderson, who was at Cherrystone Campground Thursday morning. He said he and his two children were in a camper, but rushed to take shelter in a bath house. They were not hurt.


Update at 1:20 p.m.: A National Weather Service spokesperson tells WAVY News 10 their crews are on the scene, surveying damage.


Update at 12:45 p.m.: Peter Glagola with Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital told WAVY News 10 26 patients were accepted at the hospital, 22 were being treated in the emergency department.


Update at 12:38 p.m.: WAVY News’ Erin Kelly reports a Virginia State Police representative is on the scene, and is expected to make a statement shortly.


Update at 12:24 p.m.: The Northampton County Board of Supervisors issued a declaration of a local emergency following a reported tornado. According to the declaration, the county is facing a condition of extreme peril, necessitating the proclamation.


Update from Chopper 10 at 12:11 p.m.: Chopper 10 is flying over parts of the Eastern Shore, reporting about 60 trees toppled, and a path of destruction that could be seen from the air.


Update from WAVY News’ Lex Gray at 12:01 p.m: People at Cherrystone Campground taken to Northampton High School for shelter.


Update at 12:00 p.m.: A spokesperson for Riverside Shore Memorial Hospital said the hospital has received 27 patients following the storm, including 3 critical, 8 trauma, 8 pediatric, and 6 with minor injuries.


Update at 11:50 a.m.: Dale Gauding with Sentara says as of 11:30 a.m., Sentara Hospitals had received three patients as a result of the severe weather. Gauding said one patient who was taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital was transferred to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters. Two patients went to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital; one is being treated, and one is being assessed.

Sentara Virginia Beach General, Sentara Leigh Hospital and Sentara Norfolk General returned to normal operations. Gauding said the Nightingale helicopter was grounded due to the weather conditions.


Update from crew in the field: WAVY News’ Erin Kelly reported from Lankford Highway in Northampton County that there was a stream of ambulances coming in and out of the campground area. The road is currently open *just* for emergency personnel, and police were directing people away from the campground. Erin Kelly reported she was told people at the campground may be moved to a local fire department.

When WAVY News’ Erin Kelly first arrived on the scene, she saw hail remaining on the ground from earlier in the morning and a couple billboard signs bent back from the wind.

Erin Kelly spoke to a woman near the campground who sought shelter at a cafe who said there was a lot of rain and people running when the severe weather hit.


Update at 11:35 a.m.: The National Weather Service tweeted that it has a storm survey team headed to the Cherrystone Campground area to survey the damage. They said further details would follow Thursday afternoon once the survey is complete.


Update at 11:00 a.m.: All wind restrictions have been lifted at the Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel, according to its Twitter account.


Update at 10:45 a.m.: Virginia State Police confirm two people are dead and at least another 20 injured in the severe storm that hit the Cherrystone Campground. Those who were injured were taken to nearby hospitals. The remaining people at the campground are being taken by bus to a nearby school for shelter, as crews continue searching for additional people who may have been injured.


Update at 10:20 a.m.: Ed Brazzle with Virginia Beach EMS says the City of Virginia Beach has responded to the Eastern Shore with six ambulances, a mass casualty truck and other equipment to help with patients and transporting them to a hospital.


Update at 10:01 a.m.: Dale Guading with Sentara said three Sentara hospitals are making mass casualty preparations: Sentara Norfolk General, Sentara Virginia Beach General, and Sentara Leigh. Guading said they are anticipating multiple patients, but they do not know how many.


Update at 9:57 a.m.: The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is operating with Level 4 wind restrictions. That means the only types of vehicles allowed to cross the bridge-tunnel are automobiles without exterior cargo, pickup trucks without exterior cargo, minivans, and SUVs.


Update at 9:51 a.m.: WAVY News’ Deanna LeBlanc called Cherrystone Aqua-Farms, which is located about a quarter of a mile from Cherrystone Campground. A woman answering the phone briefly said, “it’s just devastation at the campground” before hanging up.


WAVY update at 9:35 a.m.: Petty Officer David Weydert with the Coast Guard confirmed there are overturned boats in Oyster Bay, north of Cape Charles. He did not know how many boats were flipped, and could not confirm if anyone was on the boats. Coast Guard and Virginia Beach fire crews are responding.


NORTHAMPTON COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) – Pictures of campground damage started coming into the WAVY Newsroom Thursday morning after severe weather swept through.

A tornado warning expired at 9 a.m. for Northampton County, and a severe thunderstorm warning expired for Norfolk, Chesapeake, and Virginia Beach at 11:15 a.m.

A spokesperson for the Eastville Volunteer Fire Department confirmed a tornado touched down at Cherrystone Campground, in Cheriton. was told there were multiple injuries and overturned campers. Pictures from the campground showed campers tipped over and broken tree limbs.

Eastern Shore police dispatchers told WAVY News 10 they had received several reports of a tornado touching down. WAVY News 10 is working to confirm the locations.

A tractor trailer was also flipped on Lankford Highway in Northampton County. Virginia State Police said the driver of the tractor trailer was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

WAVY News’ Deanna LeBlanc spoke with a woman at the Cape Center, a rest stop, who said drivers were seeing damage along that same highway.

Phillip Jackson spoke with WAVY News 10 anchors on the air Thursday morning from Cheriton, and said he was seeing hail the size of golf balls that left dents in his vehicle.

Kiptokpeke State Park told WAVY News 10 power was out around 8:45 a.m., but they were not seeing stormy weather.

Stay with WAVY News 10 for the latest information.

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