Photos: 1 dead after destructive tornadoes rip through Richmond, Virginia, area

Photos: 1 dead after destructive tornadoes rip through Richmond, Virginia, area
Several tornadoes confirmed across Central Virginia
One person was killed and another injured in a building collapse in Chesterfield County caused when the remnants of Florence whipped up several tornadoes in Virginia on Monday afternoon.

A male employee at the Old Dominion Flooring warehouse in Midlothian was killed when a tornado caused the building to collapse about 3:45 p.m., Chesterfield County Fire Lt. Jason Elmore said during a briefing Monday evening. The Richmond Times-Dispatch identified the victim as 60-year-old Ronnie Bishop.

The National Weather Service surveyed the damage Tuesday afternoon and assigned the deadly Midlothian tornado a rating of EF2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale. The NWS said the twister packed estimated maximum winds of 115 to 125 mph. It was on the ground for 7.5 miles and caused damage in a 350-yard-wide path.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam warned residents in the southwest part of the state to prepare for flooding and possible landslides early this week. Northam said in a news release Saturday that emergency management officials were working to move people and commodities into place to prepare for flooding, including swift water rescue teams.

About 3:30 p.m. Monday afternoon, a student was struck by lightning at Central Middle School in Charlotte County, Virginia. There was no word on his condition.

TORNADO RIPS ROOF Off An Auto Parts Store In Richmond, VA…

Elmore said another employee at the warehouse — on Speeks Drive at Hull Street in Midlothian, Virginia — was taken to the hospital with minor injuries. About 15 employees were in the building when the tornado struck. He said a bystander was also taken the hospital with a medical emergency unrelated to the tornado.

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The tornado caused a furniture store to collapse and damaged roofs and flipped cars at a shopping center near the warehouse, Elmore said. There was a gas leak at the shopping center, too. Responders were waiting for the power company to shut off electricity to the buildings before the leak could be stopped.

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Kevin Chevitanon posted a video to Instagram of the scene off Hull Street and wrote, "At ground 0 today. … Police Officer ran me off the road and pointed at the Tornado. People here are still in a state of shock. You could smell gas in the air as we were told to evacuate across the street."

Elmore said three other tornadoes were reported in the area about the same time Monday. He said there was damage in Hampton Park, Birkdale and Beaver Ridge.

Twenty-eight tornado warnings were issued Monday by the National Weather Service office in Wakefield, Virginia. The tornado warnings expired at 5:45 p.m., but Richmond was hit by another severe thunderstorm about 6:30 p.m.

There were at least four dump trucks and other construction vehicles lined up at the curb across the street from the flooring company that were moved a few yards from their parking places. Some hoods were blown open and the engines on some of those vehicles appeared to be damaged.

The NWS confirmed an EF0 tornado hit Mecklenburg County shortly after 10:30 a.m. Monday morning. It traveled 9 miles, from Boydton to Chase. News reports said several trees were felled and at least one home was damaged.

Chesterfield Fire/EMS spokesman Lt. Jason Elmore told a news conference the victim was a man who worked at Old Dominion Flooring. Elmore said when fire crews arrived the stores manager told them that all of the stores employees were accounted for, except for one man.

Monday afternoon in Chesterfield County, schools that were about to dismiss students as the tornadoes struck instead sheltered in place. WTVR reported that some school buses that had already left were told to return the students to school. Some students were not released to parents until nearly 6:30 p.m. Several colleges in the area also canceled evening classes and events.

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More than 9,000 customers were without power at 5:15 p.m., Dominion Energy Virginia reported. Spokesman David Botkins told the Times-Dispatch there was extensive damage to utility poles, transformers and wires.

The Wakefield NWS office said it plans to send crews out beginning Tuesday to survey the damage and determine how many tornadoes touched down and their ratings on the Enhanced Fujita scale.

The remnants of Florence are interacting with a warm, humid airmass in place over the mid-Atlantic states, weather.com meteorologist Brian Donegan said. Wind shear – the change in wind speed and/or direction with height – was high across the region, leading to the development of multiple tornadoes Monday afternoon.

RICHMOND, Va. – The National Weather Service has confirmed the storm that struck near Richmond, killing one person, was an EF-2 tornado.

VIDEO: Tornado rips roof off Virginia business

The NWS announced on Tuesday that the tornado had 120 mph winds and was 350 to 400 yards wide when it touched down at Speeks Drive in Chesterfield County, Virginia on Monday.

The FOX 5 Weather Team said the storm was produced with remnants of Florence that were traveling north on Monday.

Video: 1 Person Dead, Another Hospitalized After Tornado Touches Down in Virginia

According to Lt. Jason Elmore of the Chesterfield Fire and EMS Department, there was one confirmed death and another person was hospitalized following a building collapse at Old Dominion Flooring.

Video: 1 Person Dead, Another Hospitalized After Tornado Touches Down in Virginia

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