Amherst County tornado upgraded to EF-3

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Amherst County Storm Damage

AMHERST COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — The National Weather Service (NWS) upgraded the status of the tornado that hit Lynchburg, Amherst and Campbell counties Sunday evening. 

After additional analysis of the damage and further discussion with experts, NWS increased the maximum winds in the Elon community in Amherst County from 130 mph to 150 mph. The upgrade puts the tornado in the EF-3 category. 

The tornado first touched down in northwest Campbell County causing EF-1 damage to trees, as well as some roof damage, with an initial path width of 100 yards.

It then upgraded to a low-end EF-2, flipping some cars and a truck trailer and causing damage to a number of businesses, right before it crossed into Lynchburg. 

There, the tornado damaged a mobile home park, with minor damage to roofs of homes and businesses and snapped dozens of trees. It widened to about 600 yards wide doing EF-1 damage.

In Amherst County, the tornado crossed Highway 130 into the Elon area and strengthened to its maximum intensity with winds estimated at 150 mph. There, dozens of homes were badly damaged, some nearly completely, and many large trees were snapped off and left with no branches.

The NWS said a motor-home was carried about 30 feet and tipped over.

NWS officials said the damage path was about 400 yards wide in this area, but the strong EF-3 damage was about 100 yards wide.

The tornado then continued moving NNE doing mainly damage to trees and some minor roof damage to homes. 

NWS said it estimates that 12 people were injured in Sunday night’s tornado.

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