Tornado destroys outbuilding

Published 4:43 pm Saturday, April 1, 2017

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down near downtown Suffolk during Friday evening’s storms.

A tornado rated as an EF1 was on the ground for about two minutes beginning at about 5:33 p.m., the weather service stated in a press release Saturday afternoon.

The twister touched down along and just west of White Marsh Road, about two miles southeast of downtown Suffolk.

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One outbuilding was destroyed, and debris from that building damaged an adjacent home, according to the weather service. A number of trees also were downed or snapped off.

The tornado brought winds of 80 to 90 miles per hour and was 100 yards wide at its peak. It left a path of destruction of about a mile.

After crossing White Marsh Road, the twister moved into the Great Dismal Swamp, where it was no longer visible, but radar data, the weather service stated, suggested that it might have traveled “some distance” through northern portions of the swamp.

There were no injuries.

Torrential rains also flooded many streets and parking lots in the downtown area, overwhelming the ability of storm sewers to drain the water.

Hail was reported in many parts of the city.