On Friday, April 19, a tornado hit the Peninsula causing downed trees in parts of York County and Newport News. But according the National Weather Service office in Wakefield, the tornado was actually quite light.
“Most of the tornado has been tree damage maybe light damage like shingles and siding removal,” said Jeff Orrock, meteorologist-in-charge at the NWS Wakefield office.
At approximately 8:05 p.m. on Friday, a tornado hit York County with winds estimated at 85 mph. In Newport News, a tornado touched down two minutes later with estimated wind speed capped at 75 mph. See the full summary of the weather review here.
Orrock said the wind speed on the Peninsula was 60 to 75 mph tops since the tornado was “fairly weak.”
The weather service uses the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF) and the tornado in both localities were a considered a zero or light on the EF scale.
To determine the tornado’s path and the extent of the damage, the Wakefield office relied on a mix of emergency medical services, 911 and individual reports and radar data, Orrock said.
“These things [tornadoes] were not really on the ground for more than a couple minutes,” Orrock said.
So what are the localities doing to help residents affected by the tornado?
In York County, the limbs will be collected by the county, said Gail Whittaker, spokeswoman for the county.
Whittaker said people who have sustained damage to their homes should check with their insurance company.
It is not clear what the City of Newport News did for its residents following the tornado.
Orrock said people who have any questions about the recent tornado or would like to make a report or send pictures of the storm’s aftermath, can contact the Wakefield office at AKG-report@NOAA.gov.