NWS: 3 tornadoes hit the Peninsula during Friday’s storms


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Three tornadoes touched down in three different areas across Hampton Roads last Friday, the National Weather Service confirms.

Information from the National Weather Service’s Wakefield office released Monday shows the tornadoes hit Gloucester County, Newport News and York County during Friday night’s severe storms. There were no injuries reported.

The three confirmed tornadoes bring the total for Virginia up to 13 for the Wakefield Warning Area. All 13 tornadoes were EF-0 on the Enhanced Fujita Scale, and largely resulted in damage to trees and buildings.

Several of these tornadoes touched down in localities across the viewing area. 

The tornado in Newport News likely started just after 8 p.m. as a waterspout over the Warwick River before tracking northeast through the Sanford, Carriage Hill and Denbigh section of the city.

It had maximum speeds of 70 mph and mainly produced tree damage, particularly near Sanford Elementary School, according to the NWS.

The Gloucester County tornado also likely touched down as a waterspout, according to the NWS. It formed over the York River around 8:20 p.m., before going on land and damaging trees along Jenkins Neck Road.

The tornado had maximum winds of 80 mph.

According to the NWS, a tornado that hit near Colonial Parkway and Queens Drive in York County around 8:05 p.m. had 85 mph winds.

Additional storm surveys are being conducted on Tuesday, April 22, the Wakefield office said.

The exact number of tornadoes that hit North Carolina is not clear. A tweet from the NWS’ Eastern Region Headquarters Sunday evening reported preliminary statistics that showed seven tornadoes in North Carolina.

The NWS in Raleigh said in a tweet Monday there are conflicting reports of how many tornadoes happened Friday.

The tweet said surveys are ongoing and may continue for “several more days.”

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