Virginia’s Governor declares State of Emergency following deadly tornadoes

Downed trees, power outages reported across Hampton Roads.

Credit: Brandi Cummings / WAVY

VIRGINIA (WAVY) — Another line of strong storms is moving into Hampton Roads Wednesday night. The first round of storms in the afternoon brought devastation to the region.

Wednesday evening, Governor McAuliffe declared a state of emergency in response to the severe weather event. McAuliffe will be visiting the areas affected Thursday, including Waverly and Appomattox.

There were reports of a funnel cloud in Waverly where three males were confirmed dead, according to Virginia State Police. They confirmed the victims, a 50-year-old man, a 26-year-old man and a 2-year-old were thrown from a mobile home during the storm.

Eight other people were injured, but none of them were seriously hurt.

Five structures are damaged. A command center was set up at Prince George Electric at 7103 General Mahone Highway/Route 460.

The entire Hampton Roads region has been placed under a tornado watch until 11 p.m. A watch means that conditions are favorable for tornadoes to occur.

Several viewers have reported hail in the area around 8 p.m.

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All previous tornado warnings issued for the metro area have expired. The following school districts announced they were sheltering in place until the warning expired in their cities: Hampton Public Schools, Newport News Schools, Williamsburg and Suffolk Public Schools. Parents were asked not to pick up students.

Photos: Extensive storm damage

There are power outages reported across the region. In a live Wednesday evening interview with 10 On Your Side, Dominion Virginia Power spokeswoman Bonita Billingsley-Harris said the peninsula area was experiencing the most outages . She said the fallen tree limbs are the biggest threat.  You can find contact information on outages reported to electric cooperative in North Carolina at www.ncelectriccooperatives.com/storm/outages.htm

Several city offices tweeted updates on damage reports throughout the evening:

If you under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately. Got to a basement if possible, or to the center of a small interior room at the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls.

Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler reported Wednesday that a line of storms was expected to bring heavy rains, gusty winds, possible hail and lightning to the area tonight.

The rain will likely taper off between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. tonight, at which point temperatures are expected to drop. The high winds are forecast to stick around through Thursday.

The threat of severe weather caused several area school districts to close or dismiss early Wednesday.

The severe weather could also make driving conditions hazardous on area roadways and interstates.

Keep track of the latest forecast information for Virginia with WAVY’s Super Doppler 10 Online.

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