Update: Hampton City officials have completed their initial assessment and say the tornado caused more than $4.3 million in damages.
Of those, most were to single-family homes, with 206 damaged for a total estimated amount of $3,552,710. The city also lists damage to 99 multi-family homes at $308,000, 3 businesses at $347,810 and agricultural damage at $100,000. In addition, public property sustained damages estimated at $57,000.
The two hardest-hit neighborhoods, Merrimac Shores and Victoria/Park Place are still without power. Many poles were snapped and lines are down. Both neighborhoods are blocked off to vehicles (even residents) while power crews replace poles and lines. The goal is to restore power by midnight tonight. See a map of the tornado’s path through the city.
City crews are still working to clean up public areas. Debris blocking roads is the first priority. Bulk crews will begin pickups in neighborhoods as soon as they can. If possible, residents are asked to keep compostable tree debris separate from other materials so it can be composted.
5:20pm: The National Weather Service has confirmed the tornado was an EF1 with maximum winds of 98 mph. The tornado began as a waterspout near the Monitor Merrimac Bridge. It then tracked over Chesapeake Avenue, through Downtown Hampton and to the Chesapeake Yacht Club before moving into the Chesapeake Bay.
3:23pm: 1030 Dominion Power customers remain without power across Hampton Roads and Northern North Carolina. 1007 of those are in Hampton.
Red Cross staffers are still completing disaster assessments in areas of Hampton affected by the storm. Emergency Response Vehicles from the Red Cross Chapter on W. Pembroke Avenue to provide lunches to neighborhood residents. Several homes are condemned due to fallen and uprooted trees; mental health workers were part of Red Cross assessment teams talking with homeowners.
If residents need assistance from the Red Cross, they can call the 24-hour disaster line at 757-536-9859 or the local Red Cross Chapter at 757-838-7320.
11:36am: The City of Hampton Emergency Operations Center says cleanup continues downtown, but the Blackbeard Festival will open at 2 p.m. with a full schedule, including fireworks this evening. Some food vendors are already open.
An old sewing machine has been hooked up to a generator, so tents can be repaired. In addition, Dolphin Laundromat has donated laundry service, plywood and sand to get the pirate camp in shape. The canopy over Mill Point stage was blown off, but the stage has been declared safe.
In Virginia Beach, the Patriotic Festival airshow will begin at 1pm today instead of 11:30am.
11:13am: Check out these videos of the Hampton tornado from around the web
10:40am: Red Cross volunteers are available to help those hit by the tornado in Hampton. Anyone seeking assistance should call 757-838-7320.
9:50am: The City of Hampton has released this map of the tornado’s path based on damage reports.
8:27am: According to Robin McCormick with the City of Hampton, the National Weather Service has confirmed that it was a tornado that hit Hampton Friday evening. It was first spotted in Portsmouth and traveled across the water to Hampton between Wythe and downtown. It then skipped over Mercury Boulevard with wind speeds around 85 mph in the East Hampton area around Boxwood Street.
Pirate Festival organizers have been cleaning up damage all night and are back this morning. A canopy over the stage at Mill Point Park was blown off, but the stage itself does not appear damaged. Crews are cleaning up downtown and assessing damage. Organizers are hopeful they will be able to open the festival at 2 p.m., as long as the area is deemed safe.
7:35am: The number of residents without power is now down to 1,600
7:00am: Dominion Power reports about 3,000 customers remain without power. Over 15,000 customers were affected in Hampton Roads and Northern North Carolina.
Bonita Harris with Dominion Power says patrol teams are having to walk the area due to heavy tree damage, wire down, broken poles, etc.
She says estimated time of restoration is 11pm tonight for nearly all customers.
The areas hardest hit in Hampton include the downtown area and the neighborhoods of Merrimac Shores and Park Place, where strong winds felled trees and power lines, blew out windows and scattered debris. Police are urging people to stay away from those areas unless they live there.
On Friday night, a line of storms moved through the Hampton Roads area and produced damaging winds, large hail, heavy rain, lightning, and tornadoes.
According to the National Weather Service, a tornado touched down in Raleigh Terrace and Kecoughtan in Hampton. The tornado moved across the Hampton Yacht Club causing damage. It also moved along Chesapeake Avenue.
Merrimac Shores sustained widespread damage to homes in the area.
Other areas affected include Northampton County, Southampton County Chowan, Pasquotank, and Franklin.
In Northampton County, there is debris in the area and hail was reported.
Several trees are down in Southampton County. Chowan County reported hail also and winds up to 45 mph.
Pasquotank County had a tornado touch down north of highway 17 and a few trees are down in that area as well.
Franklin also reported hail.
Participants of the Black Beard Festival were also affected by the severe weather. Many say it looked as though “a bomb hit it.” There has been no word yet if the event will continue.