Storm damages lower Gloucester
A line of powerful thunderstorms with wind gusts up to 63 miles per hour Friday afternoon spared most of the area from heavy damage. However, a few businesses and residents at Gloucester Point, Hayes and Glass were not so fortunate. Thankfully, no major injuries were reported.
Gloucester’s emergency management coordinator Creig Moore said the storms were part of a larger system that had started in the southern U.S. last Thursday, creating several tornados and significantly stronger winds.
“Those cells stayed mostly to the west of our location on Friday as it came into Virginia, but Hampton Roads was impacted by the front edge of the storm and associated cold front causing straight-line winds in Gloucester County,” Moore said.
Residents were warned about the impending weather through a tornado watch, which was issued Friday morning by the U.S. National Weather Service in Wakefield.
Some of the strongest winds throughout the entire area were felt at Gloucester Point and Hayes. “Several large limbs were torn off trees and subsequently struck residents’ (homes) causing damage,” Moore said.
Though no residences were destroyed as a result of the storm, he said there were reports of structural damage in areas throughout the southern portion of the county.
“We are still experiencing very wet soil, so it did not take much to pull some of the root systems from the ground and some homes were impacted by falling trees,” Moore said.
Several trees along Glass Road had fallen and blocked that roadway and damaged some fences, he added, while the Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort off Zack Road had several expensive, unoccupied campers damaged.
About 2,100 customers in the county lost power in the storm, but Dominion Virginia Power had most customers’ power back on by 5 o’clock that evening.
Everyone who experienced the storm said it came and went so quickly.
Gloucester Point Marina manager Ricky Robbins said he was in the clubhouse when he saw the line of storms on the weather radar on his phone. “I walked over to the sliding door to shut it and about that time, saw debris flying over the boathouse,” he said. “It only lasted for two minutes … the worst of it.”