NWS confirms tornado caused damage in Hickory area of Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A tornado caused damage throughout the Hickory area of Chesapeake Thursday, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

NWS conducted a storm survey, which determined that an EF-0 tornado touched down near Delia Drive Thursday, right behind Martin Rose’s home.

As Rose’s home started to shake, he looked outside and said he saw “a funnel coming down out of the sky, purplish-black, cyclonic rotation.”

The twister spared his home, but tore through the family’s camper next door.

“Carried it a couple hundred yards… just completely destroyed it, obliterated it.”

Household items and appliances were tossed across the property. Rose is just happy his family and his animals weren’t hurt.

“Thank God, we just lost replaceable items,” he said.

The tornado also heavily damaged Hickory Ridge Farm. Friends and neighbors came to the farm to help clean up debris and fallen trees. Luckily, no farm animals or people were hurt.

Robin Pierce, owner of the farm, said the farm’s opening day is set for April 22.

“I am in shock, but I stand on what I believe, and that is with God and God has a plan. I don’t know what it is, but it will be OK,” Pierce said. “The main thing is the structure we lost, we can set up with a tent and sell strawberries.

“I’m completely overwhelmed by how gracious people are who have already stopped by to help,” she continued, tearing up. “My phone’s blowing up with people just offering their help … So I’m grateful. As long as we have our health, we can work and we will figure out what to do to rebuild it. You know we can always rebuild it, it’s just stuff.”

Photos: April severe weather in Hampton Roads

NWS says the tornado proceeded to cross Battlefield Boulevard then Head of River Road, where it reached its strongest point with an estimated wind speed of up to 80 miles per hour. Several pine trees were snapped.

The tornado then crossed Beaverdam Road, maintaining winds of 75 miles per hour. It weakened as it crossed Land of the Promise Road, but was still strong enough to drop a pine tree into a house.

The tree fell into a woman’s bedroom, but fortunately she wasn’t in the room at the time, but was somewhere else inside the home with her son, Bobby Hoag, and his wife.

Hoag said they had just gotten home from a doctor’s appointment and were watching some home videos when the lights started flickering and rain started coming down heavily.

“About two minutes after it really started pouring down heavy, we kind of started to hear howling noises,” Hoag said. “It sounded like a freight train. I joked to my wife, ‘That sounds like a tornado!’”

Seconds later, Hoag said the tree landed on the house. Hoag said everyone was OK.

“I’m just thankful that she wasn’t in the bedroom, because it could have been much worse if she had been in there when the tree came down on it.”

There are power lines down nearby the home and power outages have been reported throughout the city. Click here to check real-time outage numbers from Dominion Virginia Power.

WAVY viewer Eric Donnelly shared a video of Life Storage on Battlefield Boulevard. It appears the roof of one of the buildings was torn off.

This was the second tornado in the city in less than a week. Last Friday, a tornado destroyed the Real Life Christian Church. More than 200 homes in Virginia Beach were damaged Friday. Neighbors are still working to clean up and recover.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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