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Tornado in Virginia Beach had 150 mph winds, National Weather Service says

Posted at 11:37 AM, May 01, 2023

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va (AP) — The City of Virginia Beach declared a state of emergency after a tornado moved through the area and damaged dozens of homes, downed trees and caused gas leaks.

Between 50 and 100 homes were damaged after the tornado touched down around 6 p.m., city officials said in a statement Sunday. City Manager Patrick Duhaney declared a state of emergency.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The National Weather Service's Wakefield office confirmed the tornado based on "debris signature on radar, damage reports, and videos of the storm."

The agency later confirmed Monday an EF-3 tornado with wind estimates of 140 to 150 mph was responsible for the damage in the Great Neck area.

The agency confirmed another tornado over the weekend in Florida in a weekend filled with hazardous weather across the U.S., including high water on the Mississippi River which tested flood defenses in Iowa and Illinois as it crests in the area Monday.

Virginia Natural Gas responded to several homes with gas leaks and Dominion Energy was reporting about 250 outages around Virginia Beach Monday morning.

The tornado touched down in the area of River Road and North Great Neck Road, Virginia Beach officials said in a social media post. Based on public safety patrols and resident reports the city said more than a dozen homes along Upper Chelsea Reach and Haversham Close were damaged.

Great Neck Road will remain closed between Cox High School and the bridge at Adam Keeling Road until further notice to allow for crews to remove debris, the city said.

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