A tornado warning was issued in Chesterfield, Amelia, Dinwiddie, Nottoway, Amelia, Powhatan, and Cumberland counties.
A tornado warning was issued for four counties near Richmond, Virginia, until 5:45 p.m. on Thursday evening. A broadcast from the National Weather Service Wakefield office interrupted cable television with an emergency message urging residents to take cover. The counties under tornado warning are Chesterfield, Nottoway, Dinwiddie, and Amelia.
At 5:32 p.m., another broadcast interrupting cable TV extended the warning until 6:02 p.m., and warned residents that a tornado had been officially sighted near Sutherland.
Another broadcast was issued two minutes later announcing that tornadoes had also been sighted over Amelia courthouse moving west around 49 mph. The announcement extended the warning to Powhatan, Amelia, and Cumberland counties, and extended the warning until 6:02 p.m.
"Repeat: A tornado is on the ground," the automated voice read. It urged residents to report severe weather to the National Weather Service Wakefield Facebook page or by calling 757-899-2415.
The alert says:
"The National Weather Service in Wakefield has issued a tornado warning for Southwestern Chesterfield County in central Virginia, Northeastern Dinwiddie County in south-central Virginia, southeastern Amelia County in central Virginia until 6 p.m. EDT," the broadcast said.
"At 532 PM EDT, a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado was located near Sutherland, or near Dinwiddie, moving north to northwest at 30 mph. HAZARD...Tornado. SOURCE...Radar indicated rotation. IMPACT...Flying debris will be dangerous to those caught without shelter. Mobile homes will be damaged or destroyed. Damage to roofs, windows, and vehicles will occur. Tree damage is likely.
* This dangerous storm will be near... Sutherland and Matoaca around 540 PM EDT. Other locations impacted by this tornadic thunderstorm include Petersburg Airport, Beach, Burgess, and Addison.
TAKE COVER NOW. Move to a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building. Avoid windows. If you are outdoors, in a mobile home, or in a vehicle, move to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris.
Please report severe weather by calling 757-899-2415, posting to the NWS Wakefield Facebook page, or using Twitter @NWSWAKEFIELDVA.
The warning continued to advise recommended actions:
What to do if you're affected by the Tornado Warning ...
- Watch out for dark, rotating clouds.
- If you see one, take shelter immediately!
- Listen for a tornado siren.
- If you hear it, seek shelter immediately!
- Turn on your TV/radio.
- You’ll get the latest weather updates and emergency instructions.
- Avoid unnecessary car trips.
- You don’t want to be caught outside if a tornado comes.
- Bring in outdoor furniture and other items that could blow away.
- These may become safety hazards
- Take shelter immediately!
- Flying debris from high winds causes most injuries.
- Keep windows closed and stay away from them.
- Glass from broken windows can injure you.
- If you’re in a building, go to the basement or lowest floor.
- That’s the safest location.
- If you’re in a mobile home, go to the nearest building or storm shelter.
- Even if tied down, your home can’t protect you.
- If you’re driving, fasten your seatbelt and go to the nearest building for cover.
- You’re safer indoors.
- If your car gets hit by debris, stop, cover your head, and stay below the windows.
- You’re safer inside the car than outside.
- If you’re outside, lie down in a low, flat area and cover your head with your hands.
- You’re safer lying down than standing up.
Richmond, Hampton Roads, and many other counties in Virginia are currently under a Tornado Watch until 9:00 p.m. As of 5:20 p.m., the City of Richmond is currently under Flash Flood Watch, Tornado Watch, and Wind Advisory in light of severe weather as the center of Hurricane Michael tracks along to our southeast.
Stay safe, everyone.