A pair of tornadoes over the weekend hit along the Atlantic coast touching down in Virginia and Florida as strong winds and heavy rain battered parts of the south.
On Sunday, a tornado was confirmed shortly after 6 p.m. ET in Virginia Beach, Va. The tornado touched down about three hours after the The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for the area. City Manager Patrick Duhaney declared a state of emergency on Sunday night, estimating the total number of homes damaged by the storm was between 50 and 100.
There were no immediate reports of deaths or injuries.
Early reports of damage included downed trees in the Great Neck area, including trees falling on a house and a vehicle, Virginia Beach city officials tweeted. The city’s fire department also tweeted that crews were responding to “several calls” of major storm damage and “reports of several homes with gas leaks”.
As a precaution, Virginia Beach officials have decided to cancel Sunday night performances of the popular Something in The Water outdoor festival.
“No one wants to make this call, but we cannot predict or negotiate with the weather tonight. It is our responsibility to ensure public safety above all else,” Duhaney said in a statement.
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Twister tears up the city of Florida
On Saturday, an F2 tornado touched down in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, damaging homes, overturning vehicles and snapping trees.
The late afternoon tornado, along with winds of up to 100 mph, struck near the Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center, Miami Weather Service offices reported.
“It was a fairly active weather pattern, as a mass of warm maritime air and within it a lot of humidity,” were among the causes of the tornado, Shawn Bhatti, a meteorologist with the Miami Weather Service, told USA TODAY on Sunday.
The Palm Beach Gardens Police Department reported no serious injuries or fatalities. A city spokeswoman said officials had disabled emergency protocols and were working on the aftermath on Sunday.
The Weather Service had placed much of central Florida under a tornado watch on Saturday afternoon as thunderstorms rolled through the state. Tornado warnings were still in effect in and around Palm Beach Gardens early Sunday as heavy rains headed into central Florida.
On Sunday evening, the rain cleared as the region is expected to be calmer this week with only a slight chance of wet weather, Bhatti said.
“The worst is behind us for next week,” Bhatti said. “We should finally get some compensation.”