WAVERLY, Va. (WRIC) — The National Weather Service has confirmed that a strong, EF-1 tornado came through Waverly, Virginia, on Wednesday evening. In addition, the NWS confirmed that EF-3 tornadoes ripped through Appomattox and Tappahannock.
An EF-1 tornado has wind speeds 86 to 110 mph; EF-3 tornados have wind speeds 136 to 165 mph.
The study concluded the tornado began a few miles south-southwest of Waverly. The tornado moved fast through the Town of Waverly and ended about five miles north-northeast of Waverly. Max winds reached speeds of 100 to 110 mph.
Numerous trees were downed, two mobile homes were destroyed and several homes and businesses were damaged.
Virginia State Police confirmed that a 26-year-old man, a 50-year-old man and 2-year-old boy were killed in in Waverly during the storm.
Family members of the victims released their names to 8News sister station WAVY-TV 10 as 26-year-old Devine Stringfield, 50-year-old Larry Turner and 2-year-old Ian Lewis. The family has set up a GoFundMe.
As of now, the exact number of residents displaced or injured is not confirmed, but at least eight others have been reported injured, according to Sgt. Michelle Anaya with the Virginia State Police.
Tornado damage was reported in Waverly not long after a tornado warning was issued Wednesday afternoon.
The witness accounts are terrifying.
“First we see the sparks from the power lines … all we could do is hold on to each other and pray,” Desmond Gardner told 8News sister station WAVY-TV 10. “It just shook the trailer like it was picking it up. I can’t explain it. It was bad. I would never want to do that again,” said Melvin Cole.
He added that it didn’t last long, but that it felt like forever.
Today, communities across the Commonwealth are looking to pick up the pieces from last night’s devastating weather. State agencies have been deployed to assist in the cleanup.
The NWS confirmed Thursday that an EF-3 tornado, which began in Middle Peninsula, occurred between 6:35 to 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday. The survey concluded that the long-track tornado of 28-miles traveled from the Middle Peninsula to Northern Neck, Va. affecting King and Queen, Essex, Richmond, and Westmoreland counties.
Most of the damage was rated EF-1 and EF-2, with its peak intensity of EF-3 occurring on Kino Road in Essex County where three modular homes were destroyed. The tornado had an average width of 200 yards with a max width of 400 to 500 yards and caused numerous injuries.
A tornado tracked by the NWS just to the southeast of Appomattox, Va, impacted the community of Evergreen before ending. This tornado was on the ground for 13 miles with a width of 400 yards and damaged over 100 homes and structures including one well-belt brick house. One fatality and seven injuries resulted from this tornado.
Governor Terry McAuliffe will be visiting the areas affected Thursday, including Waverly, Tappahannock, and Appomattox County.
8News has two crews in Waverly today covering the aftermath of Wednesday’s storm. Stay with us and watch their full reports tonight on 8News.