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Tornado that hit Virginia Beach was EF-3, NWS says

No injuries have been reported so far.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — A local state of emergency has been declared after a confirmed tornado ripped through the Great Neck area of Virginia Beach Sunday night.

Around 6 p.m. Sunday, a tornado was reported on the ground in the area of River Road and Great Neck, according to the City of Virginia Beach. The National Weather Service confirmed the tornado's strength hit EF-3.

The Virginia Beach Fire Department said no injuries have been reported so far.

The city's emergency website, emergency.vbgov.com has an up-to-date listing of impacted areas, road closures, programs, and services. Cancelations and service changes will be posted on this site.

And you can follow 13News Now's continuing coverage of the tornado, the damage it caused and the ongoing recovery efforts below.


1:30 p.m. Tuesday — Great Neck Road partially reopens

The City of Virginia Beach shared a traffic update Tuesday afternoon, saying a single lane of Great Neck Road is open in both directions between Cox High School and Adam Keeling Road. 

Officials are still asking people to avoid the area if possible to minimize the impact on traffic.

10:40 a.m. Tuesday — Officials tell people to avoid the area

In a Tuesday morning update, the City of Virginia Beach asked people to avoid the area of Great Neck Road (from Cox High School to Adam Keeling Road) due to congestion and cleanup efforts.

6:10 p.m. — All but 26 Dominion customers remain without power after tornado

Dominion Energy said Monday evening that power had been restored to all but 26 customers in the Great Neck community affected by Sunday's storms.

A Dominion spokeswoman said some homes have too much damage to safely restore power. In other cases, there's so much storm debris that power crews can't get trucks into the area, and so it's taking a lot longer to determine which homes are safe to energize.

Dominion expects all homes that can be safely energized now will have power again by 8 p.m. Homes that can't will have power restored when they are repaired.

6:09 p.m. — 3 affected Virginia Beach schools to reopen Tuesday

After being closed Monday due to the tornado, Cox High School, Great Neck Middle School, and John B. Dey Elementary will reopen on Tuesday, the school division said. 

Buses will run their usual routes with the exceptions of the alternate bus stops for Old Donation School students and for some neighborhoods hit particularly hard by the tornado. Students who are unable to report safely will have excused absences.

Read the full story here.

5:38 p.m. — NWS confirms cause of storm damage in Norfolk

The National Weather Service in Wakefield said a storm survey crew in the city of Norfolk found damage in the Willoughby Spit area of Ocean View that was the result of Sunday evening's storms. 

The cause of the damage was 75 to 80 mph straighline winds.

4:37 p.m. — Over $15 million in damages in Virginia Beach

The City of Virginia Beach updated to say that Sunday's tornado caused an estimated $15.3 million in residential damages. Nine homes were destroyed, 36 have major damage making them uninhabitable, and many more have significant damage.

The city added that the public damage assessment is currently around $731,000, which does not include damage sustained at JEB Little Creek-Fort Story.

4:10 p.m. — Tornado was EF-1 at Fort Story

According to the National Weather Service, by the time the tornado reached First Landing State Park and Fort Story, it had weakened from an EF-3 down to an EF-1, snapping trees, damaging barracks, and damaging several other buildings before it moved off-shore.

A spokesperson at Fort Story tells 13News Now they estimate the tornado caused about $3 million in damage.

2:35 p.m. — How you can help those affected

Several efforts are underway to help the people impacted by Sunday evening's EF-3 tornado which caused a huge amount of damage to homes off North Great Neck Road.

Some people have launched GoFundMe fundraisers, so we reached out to GoFundMe to ensure they were valid. 

READ MORE | How you can help those impacted by the EF3 tornado in Virginia Beach

2:30 p.m. — Remaining power outages to be fixed by 6 p.m.

A spokesperson for Dominion Energy told 13News Now that barring any unforeseen complications, the company expects to have all the remaining outages fixed by 6 p.m.

2 p.m. — Registration for volunteer help opens, but only if needs arise

Volunteer Hampton Roads has opened registration for available opportunities that may arise in response to the tornado.

Those who register to volunteer are asked to not self-deploy until they are contacted and given instructions. Volunteer Hampton Roads will coordinate the necessary volunteers when and if city officials request their help. To register, tap or click here.

12:15 p.m. — Fort Story officials to give update amid damage, outages

Officials with Joint Expeditionary Base Fort Story will be giving an update at 2:30 p.m. after the tornado caused damage and power outages across the base. No personnel were hurt.

“We are fortunate that there were no injuries due to the storm,” Installation Commanding Officer Capt. Michael Witherspoon wrote in a news release. “Our teams are working with our local partners to assess the situation and return to normal operations as quickly as possible.”

12:10 p.m. — U.S. Rep. Kiggans says office is available for help

U.S. Rep. Jen Kiggans, whose congressional district covers Virginia Beach, said she is monitoring the situation and her team is in contact with city and state officials, as well as utility and natural gas companies.

She said her Virginia Beach office is available for any local assistance by calling 757-364-7650.

12 p.m. — Hot showers, device charging, grief counselors offered at Great Neck Recreation Center

The City of Virginia Beach said those impacted by the tornado can visit the Great Neck Recreation Center if they need a hot shower or power to charge their devices. 

Grief counselors are also available to anyone who may need them until 5 p.m.

11:40 a.m. — Tornado was EF-3, National Weather Service says

The National Weather Service office in Wakefield, Virginia, confirmed that the tornado that hit the Great Neck area of Virginia Beach was EF-3 strength.

According to preliminary information from the agency, the tornado brought strong winds estimated to be 140 to 150 miles per hour, adding that the worst damage was along Haverham Close.

The report said "well-built homes" were shifted off foundations, exterior walls were collapsed and roofs were removed.

11:15 a.m. — City leaders express gratitude for tornado response, no injuries

In their Monday morning press conference, Virginia Beach officials expressed their gratitude that no one was hurt by the tornado and the quick response by first responders.

"Virginia Beach is blessed and thankful"," Mayor Bobby Dyer said, adding "It is indeed a miracle."

City Manager Patrick Duhaney attributed to tornado response to the nearby resources dedicated to Something in the Water, which took place at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront over the weekend.

A staff member with Virginia Beach Emergency Management said, so far, they know of about 115 damaged structures. A majority of them are homes.

Virginia Beach Fire Chief Kenneth Pravetz said there were people contained by brush debris but nothing from a structural collapse. He also said his crews dealt with a lot of gas leaks.

Virginia Beach School Superintendent Dr. Aaron Spence said the school system is assessing the roads to see if their transportation can get to where they needed to go. 

He acknowledged that there will be issues with transportation and the system will work to make a determination for schools in the area for tomorrow.

He said anyone who needs help can reach out to the school system's Office of Family and Community Engagement.

11 a.m. — Virginia AG Miyares to tour tornado damage

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares will visit Virginia Beach Monday afternoon to tour the tornado damage. He is from Virginia Beach.

10:35 a.m. — Virginia Natural Gas says crews are working to make repairs

Virginia Natural Gas spokesperson Rick DelaHaya told 13News Now that crews are in the field and working with first responders to make the area affected by the tornado safe and to restore service. 

He said the service outage affected around 20 customers due to structural damage.

"Our personnel will remain onsite working safely and efficiently to make any necessary repairs due to the damage from the storm," DelaHaya said. "Safety is our number 1 value, and we encourage anyone who smells natural gas to call 911, then call Virginia Natural Gas at 877.572.3342 once they are out of the area of the suspected leak and in a safe place.

10:20 a.m. — City officials working on places to donate

The City of Virginia Beach is working to establish channels where those who want to donate can do so. City officials are asking people to not show up to the area with unsolicited donations, though.

When it becomes available, more information will be shared at emergency.vbgov.com.

10:12 a.m. — VBFD shares drone video of tornado damage

The Virginia Beach Fire Department took to social media to share a drone video of the tornado damage.

"Our hearts go out to the Great Neck community and all those impacted by last night’s storm," the department wrote. "We are grateful that no lives were lost."

9 a.m. — City officials to give updates on tornado aftermath

Officials with the City of Virginia Beach will hold a press conference at 11 a.m. to talk about the tornado and the subsequent damage.

Virginia Beach Mayor Bobby Dyer, District 8 Councilmember Chris Taylor and City Manager Patrick Duhaney will speak at the entrance of Cox High School.

The press conference comes as the community begins to clean up the damage caused by the tornado. 13News Now got a glimpse of the damage on Haversham Close:

7:50 a.m. — NWS survey crew to investigate tornado damage

A survey crew with the National Weather Service office in Wakefield, Virginia, is heading to Virginia Beach to investigate the tornado damage. The agency said it would be embedded with Virginia Beach Emergency Management.

The agency initially thought this was a strong EF-2 tornado with winds of 120 to 135 mph.

13News Now's Dan Kennedy live-streamed to show the damage caused by the tornado.

7:45 a.m. — Bulky item collection suspended in Virginia Beach for week of May 1

Virginia Beach's waste management has suspended bulky item collection for the week of May 1 as crews work to clean up debris from the tornado.

Yard waste collection will continue to run on a delay. People are asked to place bagged yard waste and woody debris in the trash cart for service on normal collection days.

7:40 a.m. — Route 29 bus service detoured until further notice

Due to the closure of North Great Neck Road, the Hampton Roads Transit bus service along Route 29 will be detoured until further notice. Passengers should expect delays.

North Great Neck Road and First Colonial Road bus stops can't be serviced because of the closure.

7 a.m. — Over 200 in Virginia Beach without power, Dominion rep says

Dominion Energy spokesperson Bonita Billingsley Harris said 209 customers in Virginia Beach are still without power, mostly affected by tornado damage.

Dominion Energy crews have restored most of Fort Story's power, but there are still more repairs to be made, according to Harris.

She also said crews will be ready to begin power restoration in the Great Neck area as soon as it's safe for the authorities to let them in.

To see the latest power outages, visit Dominion Energy's outage map.

6:40 a.m. — Crews to start picking up street debris this morning

According to Virginia Beach's emergency website, crews will start picking up debris on public streets starting at 8 a.m. People with tree debris entirely on their property will be responsible for their removal.

The Virginia Beach Public Works Department encourages people to talk to their insurance companies about coverage and deductibles before getting a quote from or contracting tree removal companies.

6:20 a.m. — Several Virginia Beach schools closed after tornado

As Virginia Beach continues to clean up, Virginia Beach City Public Schools said some schools will be closed on Monday.

The school division said John B. Dey Elementary, Great Neck Middle, and Cox High School will be closed to students and staff on May 1.  

READ MORE | Several Virginia Beach schools closed following tornado touchdown

6 a.m. — Great Neck Road in Virginia Beach closed

Downed trees and road signs can be seen on North Great Neck Road in Virginia Beach early Monday morning.

The Virginia Beach Police Department has every possible residential entrance blocked off where upwards of 100 homes were damaged Sunday evening.

Great Neck Road between Cox High School and the bridge at Adam Keeling Road will stay closed until further notice to allow for emergency and debris management work, according to the city.

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