We were very fortunate this time in our little town. Not too far away the areas of Suffolk and Colonial Heights, and Driver, VA were hit pretty hard when three tornadoes touched down in Virginia. Apparently there was also a water spout by Portsmouth that crossed a bridge too that I read about last night.

Storm front brings severe weather to NC – WAVY10 – the news channel we generally watch for local free to air antenna weather reports

Associated Press – April 28, 2008 9:25 PM ET
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A severe weather system swept across North Carolina today and sparked tornado warnings and watches, but caused little damage.

The same system later injured hundreds when it spun out tornados in Virginia from Suffolk to Colonial Heights.

North Carolina officials said several mobile homes in Gaston County near Kings Mountain were damaged.

As the storm system spread, the weather service put up and took down tornado warnings in counties generally along the North Carolina-Virginia border.

VAEmergency.com:

RICHMOND, Va. — Governor Timothy M. Kaine today declared a state of emergency in the Commonwealth of Virginia, directing state agencies to take all necessary actions to aid in the response to widespread damage from this afternoon’s severe weather.

A declaration of emergency allows the Governor to immediately deploy state personnel, equipment and other emergency response resources, and to coordinate state and local response to the event.

Strong winds and possible tornadoes caused damage in multiple localities. The cities of Colonial Heights and Suffolk were two areas that were severely affected.

Agencies assisting include the Virginia departments of Emergency Management, Marine Resources and Transportation and the Virginia State Police. Other agencies are on standby if needed.

Bloomberg said,

April 29 (Bloomberg) — Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine declared a state of emergency yesterday after tornadoes injured about 200 people and caused damage in the cities of Colonial Heights and Suffolk.

Volunteer agencies including the American Red Cross set up shelters and police closed several roads during the storms. Sentara Obici Hospital in Suffolk was damaged by the tornadoes and is still receiving patients, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said on its Web site.

Some images of some of the areas at MSNBC’s Photos area here.

Two hardest hit areas reported on so far:

Suffolk: Twister injures about 100 people, damages Sentara Obici Hospital, leaves town of Driver in shambles – Rich.com

Colonial Heights: Businesses near Southpark sustain damage – Rich.com

History of area tornadoes (in Virginia) – WAVY10:

The following information is from VAEmergency.com, which has tracked tornadoes throughout Virginia.

Nationally, the US. averages over 800 tornadoes per year. Tornadoes can strike anywhere in the US. during any month and any time of day. Virginia has seen as few as one tornado in a year (1982) to as many as 29 tornadoes (1993). Tornadoes have occurred during every month and every hour of the day. It can happen here. It could happen to you. Be prepared by knowing what to do when a tornado threatens.

Quite the history of tornadoes for an area that doesn’t ‘generally’ get hit often by them….and many were rated F2.

So how much of our National Guard personnel and resources are still overseas? How many can do what they were trained to do here in the USA? And how many National Guard personnel have lost their lives in the ‘War on Terror” so far.

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