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article imageHistoric tornado outbreak brings death, destruction to Richmond

By Karen Graham     Sep 17, 2018 in Environment
Richmond - Multiple tornadoes spun across the Richmond area Monday as the remnant of what was once Hurricane Florence traveled well to the west of Central Virginia. At least one fatality has been confirmed and extensive damage has been reported.
There was at least one confirmed death and one injury during the tornado outbreak when a tornado destroyed a business at Hull Street Road and Speeks Drive in Chesterfield County.
A line of strong thunderstorms began tracking from the southwest toward Central Virginia, moving to the northeast Monday afternoon. meteorologist Brian Donegan said the remnants from Florence "are interacting with a warm, humid airmass in place over the mid-Atlantic states."
"Wind shear – the change in wind speed and/or direction with height – is high across the region, leading to the development of multiple tornadoes Monday afternoon," he added.
A furniture store on Hull Street was also heavily damaged. Cars were flipped outside the Planet Fitness gym on Hull Street. Tornadoes also caused damage in the Hampton Park area of Chesterfield County and prompted schools to keep students after normal school hours. In some cases, school buses taking students home were diverted to nearby schools for student safety.
FEMA will be happy to know that the Emergency Broadcast System works very well, especially for localized emergencies. This journalist got her first of what turned out to be five different emergency texts on my cell phone, starting at 4:15 p.m. this afternoon - warning me to take cover because a tornado had been spotted on the ground.
The warnings actually started at about 10 a.m. Monday for areas southwest of Richmond and continued through the afternoon.
What's left of Florence will travel north, toward Washington D.C. and out of the area Tuesday taking any significant weather with it. As it is, the Richmond metropolitan area is still under a tornado watch until 10 p.m. tonight.
I can tell readers that for sure, the danger is not over yet. But I now know what so many people who live in areas subject to tornadoes go through - and the experience today has given me a great deal of respect for nature and an understanding and compassion for what people have gone through with Hurricane Florence.
More about Tornado, Richmond Virginia, Hurricane Florence, one fatality, Severe weather
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