The National Weather Service (NWS) confirms a tornado touched down in Suffolk, Virginia Saturday evening.
NWS Wakefield’s storm survey team determined the twister was an EF-1 on the “Enhanced Fujita” scale used by the National Weather Service and others, which ranges from zero (65-85 mph winds) to five (winds in excess of 200 mph). This tornado was two miles long and 200 yards wide with winds 85 to 90 miles per hour. It touched down in downtown Suffolk, where the Nansemond River begins.
The City of Suffolk says 34 residential buildings were affected by the tornado, with seven suffering major damage, and six businesses were damaged. Multiple trees, power lines, and a power pole were reported down, with some trees falling on top of houses. No one was injured.
One house was also believed to be struck by lightning around 7 p.m. Saturday. The four people living there evacuated before firefighters arrived, but Suffolk Fire and Rescue saved a dog from inside the house. The Red Cross was helping the displaced residents.
-Meg Walburn Viviano