NWS confirms EF-0 tornado caused Oceanfront damage


by 13News Now


Posted on July 11, 2014 at 12:55 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 11 at 5:28 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- The National Weather Service surveyed several areas in Virginia Beach Friday following yesterday's storm and confirmed an EF-0 tornado caused damage at the Oceanfront. The short but destructive path was from 15th to 17th Street, officials said. 

Significant structural damage occurred after an afternoon thunderstorm moved in quickly and took many people off guard. 

The National Weather Service didn't issue a Tornado Watch or Warning ahead of Thursday's storm. Bill Sammler with the National Weather Service in Wakefield said the cell originated in Greensville County and reintensified as it came into Chesapeake.

"The radar-based circulation didn't last long enough for us to be able to issue a Tornado Warning," according to Sammler.

Reese Goldstein owns Half Moon Music on 16th Street and said the 'craziness' lasted only a few seconds.

"I was in the store, I was actually right up by the front door looking at the storm thinking 'Man, it's crazy out there' and then all of a sudden, the windows blew out and everything shattered," Goldstein said.  "I came back outside and everything was destroyed. There was a telephone pole in the middle of 16th Street. There's a little shack across the street that made it all the way across the street up onto our front deck."

Eleven people were injured and six of those were transported to the hospital, spokeswoman Amy Valdez told 13News Now.  Hospital officials said one person remains in the hospital Friday in fair condition.

Goldstein says he has quite a lot of damage to clean up and he's hoping to open his business soon.

"We got most of the stuff inside the store cleaned up yesterday. We're pretty much just waiting for the power to come back on so we can open up again today," Goldstein said.   

Sammler said straight line winds reaching 75 mph caused the damage on Pinewood Court and off of Laskin Road.

"Everything was blown in the same direction," Sammler said, which suggested the damage was from straight line winds. 

LEARN MORE: National Weather Service press briefing

"In the end it's all wind, but the difference is there are ways to be able to see rotation in tornado damage that you would not see in straight line wind damage," he explained.