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Reported tornado leaves Essex County residents trapped, homes destroyed, 25 injured

Posted at 9:51 PM, Feb 24, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-25 07:46:35-05

ESSEX COUNTY, Va. -- A possible tornado hit Essex County Wednesday evening, resulting in destroyed homes and people causing multiple injuries, according to reports.

The storm touched down at approximately 6:45 p.m. causing severe damage in the Kino Road, DeSha Road and Ridge Road areas, according to the Rappahannock Times and multiple social media reports.

At least 30 structures were damaged, with 15 completely destroyed. A total of 25 injuries were reported, ranging from minor to serious. There are no confirmed fatalities, according to Virginia State Police.

The Essex Fire Department says everyone accounted for. Now they are just searching for more damage.

A resident named Ben told CBS 6 he heard a loud sound like a train before the storm struck, and leveled trees and homes.

“The classic, train sound. There are homes hit near me, less than a mile from my home,” said Ben. “It was really, really scary.”

Other residents tell CBS 6 family members have contacted them saying they are trapped and their homes have been destroyed.

Rescue efforts are being hampered by downed power lines and trees.

Essex County Emergency Management have told residents to stay off the roads and stay away from downed power lines:

"This is very serious situation and emergency personnel are trying to assist those in need. Additional Emergency resources are being brought into the area to assist. If you have an emergency please call 911. Also, Please be patient, emergency crews are on the way but may be delayed due to damages."

VSP also asked residents to avoid driving as it is dangerous due to the many road hazards and closures.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management says Essex County has requested heavy equipment and chain saw crews as their search efforts continue.

Riverside Tappahannock Hospital says it is currently out of beds, but the county has opened up their Emergency Shelter, located at First Baptist Church, Loretto. If you need assistance in getting there please call the Essex County Sheriff's Office at 804-443-3346. Be sure to bring supplies for bedding and any possible medications.

As of 9:30 p.m. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC) has approximately 2,300 outages across their 22-county service territory.

The company said restoration efforts are underway, but with the significant damage, they are expecting power will not be restored until Thursday afternoon.

To report a power outage, call 1-800-552-3904 or visit

This story is developing.