U.S. News

Actions

Tornado At Va. Campground Kills At Least 2

An estimated 1,300 people were at the Cherrystone campground when the storm hit. Now officials are saying up to 175 people lost their shelters.
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jul 24, 2014

Two people are dead and more than 20 are injured after a tornado hit a Virginia campground early Thursday. 

"We were literally watching stuff fly past our campers, hit our campers, shaking our campers, and then we saw people down the street whose were literally flipped over and destroyed." (Via WAVY)

"A lot of rain, a lot of hail, and a lot of people running." (Via WVEC)

An estimated 1,300 people were at the Cherrystone campground when the storm hit. Right now, officials are saying up to 175 people lost their shelters and are now being housed in a local emergency shelter. (Via WWBT)

Officials were not allowing the media in the campground during cleanup, so coverage of the tornado's aftermath has been limited. But one young Twitter user has been documenting the damage. 

These photos by 16-year-old Jordan Bertok are some of the few examples out there of how much devastation the storm caused.  (Via Twitter / @bertokjordan)

Here, Bertok shows her grandparents' car, which was smashed by storm debris while they were still inside. (Via Twitter /@bertokjordan)

And here she shows the flooding and destruction at the campground. (Via Twitter / @bertokjordan

But why was this storm so destructive? Tornadoes haven't killed anyone in Virginia since April 2011. According to The Weather Channel, the storm's height played a role. 

"This was a tall storm. I mean, for this part of the country, this time of the year, that time of the morning. You usually don't get storms that were that tall. About 50,000 feet."

The campground's county, Northampton, declared a local emergency Thursday, saying the county "is facing a condition of extreme peril which necessitates the proclamation of the existence of an emergency in order to provide mitigation, preparedness, and activities to protect life and property."

The campground is currently closed and says it will not reopen until Monday at the earliest.