Tornado Heavily Damages Homes in Va. Beach

Saturday, Aug 27, 2011  |  Updated 2:17 PM EDT
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Video from Virginia Beach, Va., as Hurricane Irene blows through.

Video from Virginia Beach, Va., as Hurricane Irene blows through.

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An apparent tornado heavily damaged five homes in the Sandbridge area of Virginia Beach.

 

Battalion Chief Tim Riley of the city fire department said roofs were blown off and walls collapsed. Several other homes sustained less severe damage.

Riley said a tornado hasn't been confirmed, but the damage pattern suggests that it was a twister spun off from Hurricane Irene.

Emergency crews responded to a call about the apparent tornado about 10 a.m. The city had issued a mandatory evacuation for beachfront community Friday, and the homes were unoccupied. There were no injuries.

 

More than 500 people in Virginia Beach have sought shelter. Fire battalion chief James Ramsey said Saturday that residents in low-lying areas are being advised to seek shelter in one of five sites located in the city of 434,000. They can hold approximately 5,000.

At Birdsneck Elementary School, about 100 residents are encamped in a gymnasium. Entire  families are encamped on mats rolled out on the basketball court.

They include sailor Willie Morris, his wife Keharia and their two young daughters, ages 5 years and 6 months.

Morris said he and his family sought out the shelter because their military housing is in a low-lying area. He said some of his neighbors also sought shelter.

 

 


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