Spring storms tore through the southern portion of the states last week leaving massive damage and loss of life in its aftermath. Virginia is no stranger to bad weather; over the last sixty years, they’ve had almost 600 tornados. But the previous storms were not like this one. Initial figures have eleven deaths total, and over 7.5 million in damages in one county.
Virginia is used to getting thunderstorms and even tornados. However, most are EF1, or an EF2 and short lived. They don’t stay formed for very long and are typically weak in nature. One eye witness that survived the storm reported that the tornado was about half of a mile wide and stayed on the ground for over 8 miles.
The scenes of destruction in Virginia join the list of other states that have been hit hard with tornado outbreaks, just in the past two weeks. Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, Alabama, Arkansas and Tennessee have all been hit with deadly tornados the past two and three weeks. All the states experiencing numerous deaths, injuries and hundreds of homes and businesses destroyed.
The Governor from Virginia declared a state of emergency to get immediate access to state resources; he also asked President Obama for a declaration of federal disaster. Residents in more than fifteen counties witnessed the destruction first hand, and those that weren’t injured, helped to search for survivors until help could arrive.
According to the National Weather Service (NOAA) there were over 600 tornados in April this year. The four day outbreak from April 25th to April 28th spawned more than 178 tornados. The previous record for the most tornados to come from a single system was April 3rd & 4th in 1974, with 148 tornados.
The spring storm season is upon us and now is the best time to make sure your important documents (insurance policies, bank records, etc.) are in a secure place, and your family has a plan in case of a weather emergency. May is historically the most active month for tornados.