UPDATE Wednesday 7/9: The National Weather Service has confirmed that an EF-0 tornado was the cause of damage at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk and in the Lynnwood neighborhood of Virginia Beach. The storm spun up a tornado that briefly touched down around 1:15 AM in the Lynnwood area and around 1:40 AM in the Ward's Corner area of Norfolk where the cemetery is located.
The hurricane also spun up a brief EF-0 tornado in Hertford County, NC.
An EF-0 is the weakest tornado category.
HAMPTON ROADS -- Thousands of residents throughout Hampton Roads woke to powerful wind and rain overnight and were told to shelter in place.
Just after 1 a.m. Friday, the National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for a majority of the region including Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Hampton and Portsmouth. The emergency alert was broadcast on-air and via mobile devices.
Several residents in Virginia Beach wrote 13News Now after spotting a funnel cloud in the Lynnhaven area.
Dozens of headstones were damaged as high winds swept through Forest Lawn Cemetery in Norfolk. A tree was also reported to have toppled into a home in the 1200 block of Pineview Avenue.
NWS officials say taking action and informing the public is their top priority during these types of events.
"As soon as we see them start to tighten up they usually touch down very, very quickly. So, we don't have a lot of time to really interrogate it," said NWS Meteorologist Jeff Orrock. "If we wait too long it will touch down and be over before we get the warning out."
The agency plans to survey the area to determine if a tornado did touchdown.