The Latest: Virginia tornado had winds of up to 165 mph


WAVERLY, Va. (AP) — The Latest on deadly storms that spawned tornadoes and damage along the East Coast, and dumped heavy snows in the Midwest (all times local):

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7:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service says a tornado that carved a path through Appomattox County in Virginia had estimated winds of up to 165 mph.

Meteorologists rated Wednesday’s twister an EF3 and said it was on the ground for 13 miles, damaging more than 100 homes. Its width was 400 yards.

Appomattox County was among three localities that sustained the greatest damage from a series of twisters that tore through the state Wednesday. One man was killed in the county.

The Weather Service also confirmed a tornado in Henry County. The EF1 twister reached speeds of 105 mph and was on the ground for less than 2 miles.

A mobile home was blown off its foundation.

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7:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service says as many as 13 tornadoes hit Louisiana earlier this week, one of which was an EF-3 with winds of 140 mph and a path width of 300 to 350 yards.

Meteorologist Kenneth Graham is head of the NWS office in Slidell. He says the tornado with 140-mph winds was the twister that hit an RV park in Convent, Louisiana, on Tuesday, killing two people.

Graham says the twister was a long-track tornado and was on the ground for 21 miles. It was the same one that hit Paincourtville, Louisiana in Assumption Parish.

The Weather Service estimates that 10 to 13 tornadoes hit Louisiana yet, but the number isn’t finalized as assessments are still being conducted.

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3 p.m.

Virginia State Police have released the names of the three people who were killed when a tornado demolished a mobile home in Waverly.

Police said in a news release that the victims were 50-year-old Larry D. Turner, 26-year-old Devine J. Springfield and 2-year-old Ivan T. Lewis. Police said the toddler’s 30-year-old mother also was in the trailer and is in the hospital.

Authorities did not disclose other relationships. A neighbor, Timothy Williams, said the woman was Turner’s girlfriend and Springfield’s brother.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe met privately with several relatives of the victims. He said the family lost everything and does not have money to bury the child.

A deputy sheriff held reporters at bay as the family members left the meeting. The deputy said they did not want to talk to the news media.

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1:15 p.m.

Utility crews are working to restore power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses across southern New England after early morning thunderstorms and strong winds knocked down tree limbs and wires.

Nearly 49,500 Connecticut customers of Eversource and United Illuminating remained without power early Thursday afternoon, down from more than 70,000 earlier in the day. Eversource officials say power won’t be restored to some Connecticut customers until Friday night.

National Grid and Eversource reported a combined 7,600 outages in Massachusetts, down from 17,000. National Grid reported more than 860 outages in Rhode Island, down from almost 13,000.

Winds gusted up to 74 miles per hour during the storms. There were no reports of injuries.

A fallen tree limb delayed MBTA trains on the Worcester/Framingham commuter rail line

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1:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that it was a tornado that struck an area of eastern Lancaster County where dozens of buildings were damaged and an Amish schoolhouse was leveled.

The tornado Wednesday night had winds topping 100 mph and left a swath of damage stretching over five miles.

Authorities say 40 to 50 buildings were damaged. Some had roofs torn off. Others collapsed.

Emergency management officials say no deaths or injuries have been reported.

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1:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that two more tornados touched down in Virginia during a burst of severe weather that raked various locations around the state.

Meteorologist Mike Rusnak said a survey crew assessed the damage in Essex County and confirmed Thursday that a twister had touched down a day earlier. The tornado left a massive path of destruction, damaging dozens of homes and injuring at least two dozen people, two critically.

Meteorologist Jake Ruckman says crews confirmed that a tornado touched down in Appomattox, leaving an 8- to 10-mile path of debris, injuring seven people and killing one man.

A tornado had already been confirmed in Waverly, where three were killed on Wednesday. Rusnak says that tornado was rated an EF1, with wind speeds of 100 to 110 mph. He says its path was 9 miles long and 300 yards wide.

The Weather Service is assessing more than a half-dozen suspected tornadoes in the state.

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12:45 p.m.

The National Weather Service has confirmed that a tornado touched down in North Carolina’s Granville County as storms raced across the Carolinas.

The weather service is also checking reports that tornados touched down in Cumberland, Moore, Sampson and Vance counties on Wednesday. Forecasters have said they expect to confirm at least three tornadoes in North Carolina.

Homes and farms were damaged in Granville County.

High winds and heavy rains moved across the Carolinas as part of the same storm system that resulted in deaths in Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia.

Thousands of customers were without electricity in the Carolinas, as utility crews worked to restore service.

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12:30 p.m.

The National Weather Service has confirmed a second tornado touched down in Virginia during burst of severe weather that raked various locations around the state.

A survey crew assessed the damage in Essex County, in the state’s Northern Neck, and confirmed Thursday that a twister had touched down the day before, meteorologist Mike Rusnak said. The tornado left a massive path of destruction, damaging dozens of homes and injuring at least two dozen, two critically.

A tornado had already been confirmed in Waverly, where three were killed on Wednesday.

That tornado was rated an EF1, with wind speeds of 100 to 110 mph, Rusnak said. Its path was 9 miles long and 300 yards wide, he said.

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12:15 p.m.

Crews were working to clear roads Thursday after dozens of cars and trucks were stranded overnight on a snowed-in roadway south of Chicago along the Illinois-Indiana state line.

The National Weather Service reports that heaviest snowfall was in Lake and Porter counties in northwest Indiana, where 12 to 15 inches of snow fell.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Alan Jamerson estimates as many as 30 vehicles were stranded when portions of Indiana 2 in Lake and Porter counties were closed late Wednesday and early Thursday.

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12:15 p.m.

Authorities say a 6-year-old girl has died following a three-vehicle crash on a snowy roadway in southern Michigan.

State police say Harlyn Radley died after the crash Wednesday afternoon in Calhoun County’s Leroy Township, near Battle Creek.

Investigators say a car driven by the child’s mother lost control and collided with another vehicle. A third vehicle then struck the wreckage.

Police say the mother and the driver of one of the other vehicles were injured.

Police say speed and heavy, wet snow were factors in the crash, which happened as a storm dumped snow across the state.

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12:15 p.m.

Utility crews in central and eastern Pennsylvania continued restoring power to thousands of customers after strong storms downed trees, caused minor flooding and may have spawned two tornadoes.

The National Weather Service planned to survey damage in Lancaster and Bradford counties to determine whether it was caused by tornadoes. The Bradford County damage was centered in Wyalusing.

Lancaster County officials reported up to 50 buildings have been damaged, including an Amish school house that was leveled. Most of that damage was near the Chester County border, along a two-mile stretch of Old Philadelphia Pike.

There were no immediate reports of injuries or deaths.

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12: 15 p.m.

Residents are dealing with downed trees and power lines while officials are closely watching some rivers and streams after a wave of strong storms packing heavy rain and wild winds swept across New Jersey.

There are 13,742 homes and businesses without power Thursday.

Jersey Central Power and Light is reporting 8,287 outages, mainly in Monmouth and Morris counties. Most of PSE&G’s 3,276 outages are in Middlesex and Camden counties. Atlantic City Electric is reporting 1,729 customers without service, mostly in Gloucester County.

A flood warning remains in effect for Somerset and northwest Warren counties and for parts of the Rockaway and Ramapo rivers. Creeks and streams across the region are running high because of the heavy rain.

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10:40 a.m.

The National Weather Service now says at least 10 tornadoes hit Louisiana on Tuesday, including four EF-2 tornadoes that were responsible for the extreme damage in Convent and LaPlace, along with an EF-2 in Livingston Parish and one in Paincourtville.

Meteorologist Phil Grigsby told The Associated Press on Thursday the tornado that destroyed a Convent trailer park was an EF-2 tornado, with winds of 111-135 mph. Other EF-2 tornadoes were confirmed in Livingston, Paincourtville, and the one in LaPlace, which destroyed or badly damaged at least 200 homes in several subdivisions.

The five other tornadoes were an EF-0, with winds of 65-85 mph. They were in Lacombe, Kenner, Madisonville, Manchac, Montpelier, and Prairieville.

Grigsby said survey teams are investigating several other suspected sites for tornado damage.

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10:45 a.m.

One day after Virginia was battered by at least one tornado, Gov. Terry McAuliffe is heading out to three of the hardest-hit regions of the state to assess the destruction.

McAuliffe’s first stop Thursday is Appomattox, where one of the state’s four storm deaths was recorded. A funnel cloud left an 8- to 10-mile path of debris, injuring seven people.

McAuliffe’s next stop is Waverly, where three people were killed as a tornado carved a 5-mile path of destruction.

The governor’s final stop is Tappahannock. At least 15 structures were destroyed and 25 injured when the storm passed through Essex County and the town of Tappahannock.

McAuliffe declared a state of emergency within hours after the destruction in Waverly.

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10:30 a.m.

Flooding brought on by torrential rain from a storm system that caused damage along the East Coast has closed a section of the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in south Baltimore.

City Department of Transportation spokeswoman Kathy Dominick said by phone Thursday morning that flooding closed Interstate 295 between the Baltimore beltway and Interstate 95 in both directions.

Dominick says the closure affected the morning commute, but officials hope lanes will reopen by the evening rush hour. She says water couldn’t drain off the roadway, but crews are working to clear any blocked drains in the area.

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9 a.m.

The names of those killed in a tornado that struck a Louisiana RV park have been released.

St. James Parish Coroner Dr. Randall Poche’ (POH’-shay) says 59-year-old David Eugene Swann, of Satsuma, Alabama and 51-year-old Scott Ellis of North Carolina died Tuesday. Poche’ was not sure of Ellis’ hometown. Thirty residents of the Sugar Hill RV Park in Convent were injured.

St. James officials have said many of the residents in the park were contractors working on chemical plants in the Mississippi River corridor.

The National Weather Service says the tornado that destroyed the trailer park was an EF-2 tornado, with winds of 111-135 mph. At least eight tornadoes hit Louisiana on Tuesday.

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8:30 a.m.

Some local and state roads have been closed in Vermont due to flooding from heavy rain and melting snow.

The National Weather Service has issued a flood warning for most of the state until about 9 a.m. Thursday.

Among the affected roads are Route 15 in Hardwick, where several homes were evacuated; Route 105 from Enosburg to Berkshire; and Route 2 in the area of Old Settlement Farm in Middlesex.

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7:35 a.m.

Officials in South Carolina say a man died when he was hit by a tree as he was picking up debris from the storms that moved across the Carolinas on Wednesday afternoon.

Darlington County Corner Todd Hardee said in a statement that 58-year-old Michael Gaines Sr. of Darlington had stopped on a road near his home to remove debris from the road when a pine tree fell on him.

Hardee says the death is being investigated by his office and the sheriff’s office.

Sheriff Wayne Byrd said the victim was being a good Samaritan when he was killed.

No other deaths have been reported in the Carolinas from the strong storms.

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