Fatality Reported After Tornadoes Touch Down Near Richmond, Virginia

Zachary Stieber
By Zachary Stieber
September 18, 2018US News

The extent of the damage caused by tornadoes touching down near and in Richmond, Virginia, became clearer the next day.

The tornadoes touched down on Monday, Sept. 17, and pictures and footage emerging on Tuesday show some of the damage, including a building collapse that left one person dead and another injured.

The Chesterfield Fire Department said that the building collapse on Speeks Drive off Hull Street Road killed one person, said Lt. Jason Elmore, public information officer for the department.

Elmore shared photos taken by a drone flying over the area, showing extensive damage.

The building that collapsed and killed a person was Old Dominion Floor Co., reported WRIC. The deceased was an employee of the business, as was the injured person.

The victim remained unidentified but Eric Webster, another Old Dominion employee, told the broadcaster that he was a good man.

“We were blessed to have him there,” said Webster. “He was a very good man. Like he’d always lighten up people that were around him.”

The deadly tornado was the first in the area in 20 years, reported the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The National Weather Service planned a survey of the area on Tuesday to confirm the number of tornadoes and track their paths and intensity.

Nineteen tornado warnings had been issued in the area on Monday. One confirmed tornado damaged houses and downed trees between Boydton and Chase City, while another tornado left damage in Chesterfield around the Hampton Park and Hancock Village neighborhoods before tracking north across Midlothian, Bon Ai, and Tuckahoe.

A third tornado appears to have started just east of Winterpock and moved toward Richmond, the Times-Dispatch reported.

According to WTVR, the tornado outbreak was caused by Florence. It said, “The energy generated east of the tropic depression put us in the path of moderate wind shear. The shear, along with high humidity, spread strong storms that produced tornadoes and torrential afternoon rain.”

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