IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Tornado strikes Virginia Beach, damaging homes and disrupting power

The city estimated that 50 to 100 homes were damaged and declared a local state of emergency.
Get more newsLiveon

Dozens of homes were damaged, trees were downed, and more than 2,000 utility customers were briefly without power Sunday evening after a tornado struck Virginia Beach, Virginia, officials said.

"Remarkably, there have been no injuries reported so far," the city said in a statement.

The vortex struck the area of Fort Story along the Virginia Beach shoreline shortly before 6 p.m., National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Montefusco said.

The tornado made a distinct signature in radar and other data analyzed by the weather service, he said, but its force wouldn't be known for hours. That usually involves having weather experts on the ground, where they can see the path of destruction.

Image: Damage from Sunday's EF-3 rated tornado is cleaned up in the Great Neck area of Virginia Beach, Va., on May 1, 2023.
Damage from Sunday's EF-3 rated tornado is cleaned up in the Great Neck area of Virginia Beach, Va., on Monday.John C. Clark / AP

In a late-night statement, the city of Virginia Beach said it estimates 50 to 100 homes have been damaged. A local state of emergency was in effect, and city crews were scheduled to fan out Monday morning to clear debris, according to the statement.

A recreation center was transformed into an "impact center" that can be used as shelter for those whose homes may have been left uninhabitable, the city said.

The Virginia Beach Fire Department said some homes had gas leaks in the wake of the tornado.

The city earlier said downed trees struck at least one home and one vehicle. Utility Dominion Energy said 2,635 customers were in the dark at 8 p.m., but shortly before midnight power had been restored to almost all of those energy users, according to its outage map.

The area of the tornado was under a National Weather Service tornado warning at the time it struck.

The city and organizers earlier Sunday canceled the third day of the Something in the Water music festival on the beach, citing weather concerns.

"It was determined with high confidence that severe weather storm warnings tonight would impact the safety of all festival areas throughout this evening," the city said in a statement.