Multiple Tornadoes Confirmed In Virginia County Friday

4:25 PM, Apr 9, 2011   |    comments
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Pulaski County, VA -- The National Weather Service storm survey team is now in Pulaski County assessing the damage from last night's storms, according to WDBJ News 7. 

Investigators say multiple tornadoes ripped through the area Friday night. Several roofs were torn off of houses, a vehicle was flipped over and numerous large trees were snapped off.

A line of thunderstorms brought destruction and injury to Pulaski County Friday night. The National Weather Service will visit the county to determine if it was actually a tornado that caused the extensive damage. Many parts of Pulaski suffered damage but the hardest hit were the community of Draper and the southwest quadrant of the town of Pulaski.

Several homes were destroyed by the storm. The canopy over a BP gas station at exit 92 on I-81 was destroyed. We've been getting reports from all over the area of roofs ripped from homes and trees crashing down on houses.

Three people suffered minor injuries and the hospital in Pulaski executed its emergency plan in case more came in. Additional state troopers have been called in to respond to the damaged area and fire and rescue crews are searching collapsed homes for people who might be trapped.

Pulaski Elementary School was set up as a shelter. About 50 people were in the shelter by 11:00 p.m. Friday night. Thousands of Appalachian Power customers in the county are without power.

Police have asked people to stay put and not to venture into the Town of Pulaski. Crews are working to clear streets of debris and fallen trees. Power lines are down throughout the damaged area.

Assistant county administrator, Robert Hiss, says the county has declared a local state of emergency and a command post has been established.

The storms started rolling through the county around 8:00 p.m. Friday night. Several people called or e-mailed NEWS7 saying they saw a funnel cloud.

Latest information from Assistant Pulaski County Administrator Robert Hiss:

"At approximately 8 pm this evening there was an extremely severe thunderstorm which resulted in significant damage from winds. Damages are concentrated in the southwest quadrant of the Town of Pulaski, which is west of Washington Ave. and south of railroad tracks to the western corporate limits at Casenife Road. Additional damage was realized in the community of Draper in the County.

Damage consists of trees across road, power lines down, significant damages to roof and houses. Fire departments and police are conducting primary damage assessments as well as any search and rescue efforts.

An emergency shelter has been established at the Pulaski Elementary School located at the corner of Morehead Lane and Rt. 11.

Law enforcement is asking all residents to stay off the roads and out encouraging residents to not enter the town limits

Local state of emergency has been declared and the emergency operations center is open. "

Hiss also says reports of a train derailed by the storm are untrue.


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