Three tornadoes sighted in region; Tornado watch extended
Updated: April 28, 2011 - 07:01 pm
A tornado watch issued for the entire Metro region has been extended until 3 p.m. Thursday after severe storms with powerful winds and rain pummeled our area overnight.
Four tornadoes reportedly struck near Quantico, Bristow in Virginia and Joint Base Andrews in Maryland Wednesday evening, and another round of severe weather is making its way across the D.C.-region this morning.
Shortly before 10:30, a tornado warning was issued for the cities of Manassas and Manassas Park as well as Fauquier and Prince William Counties, in effect until 11:15 p.m.
At 10:40 p.m., ABC7 meteorologists spotted another potential tornado in Morningside, Prince George's County. It was visible on radar with the signature form indicating a possible tornado. "That is a major hook," says Alan Auglis.
Tornado warnings were dropped around 8 p.m., although a tornado watch stands until 2 a.m. Flash flood warnings were put in effect for Prince George's and Anne Arundel counties.
Several ABC7 employees spotted a tornado in Bristow, Va.
Tornadoes were also spotted at Joint Base Andrews in Clinton, Md., in Stafford County, Va, and near Quantico (see photo gallery).
In Stafford County, residents saw massive black clouds hovering, which suddenly formed a funnel. It showed up moments after a tornado warning.
“That was pretty scary especially from where I was standing, it was intimidating,” said 19-year-old Josh Sweany. Sweany caught the funnel cloud move through his neighborhood with a video camera, standing his ground against the storm.
“It was really dark and really, really windy,” he said. It took about 11 minutes for the funnel cloud to move north and vanish from sight. People in this neighborhood are aware of the devastation from similar storms in other parts of the country and were thankful that they were spared this night.
An ABC7 viewer snapped a picture of a funnel cloud near the intersection of Route 1 and 234 in Dumfries shortly after 7 p.m. Fortunately, no evidence of property damage was reported, according to authorities.
In the Alexandria section of Fairfax County, a lane of Route 1 could not drain fast enough after copious amounts of rain. Karen Turcios, who lives nearby, fears water will flood her mobile home.
Around 6:30 p.m., a tornado was seen a couple miles west of Quantico. The storm was projected to climb through eastern Fairfax along the Potomac River, then move into Charles and Prince WIlliam counties.
Jeff Duer, 47, who lives in Waldorf, Md., was boating with his wife on the Potomac River Wednesday afternoon when he heard the tornado watch. He and his wife returned to shore and were driving into Potomac Heights in Charles County when they saw the darkening clouds.
“Very ominous. Very dark,” he said.
He said he followed the tornado for about seven miles before it got away from him and his wife. Duer had some experience chasing tornadoes before but he “never had anything like this,” he said.
“I wasn’t scared but my wife was,” he said. “She doesn’t like this stuff as much as I do.”
A tornado warning was issued for Prince George’s and Charles counties until 8 p.m., extending a previous warning.
A funnel cloud was seen at Andrews Air Force Base, Largo, upper Marlboro, Anne Arundel County. "We have confirmed a funnel cloud touch-down on base in the area of the golf course,” said Andrew’s press officer Eric Sharman.
There have been additional sightings of funnel clouds in Potomac Heights and Bryans Road in Charles County, Md. Three-hundred to 400 lightning strikes within an hour were an indication of the power of this storm, according to the ABC7 weather team.
Previously, a tornado warning had been called in Orange and Spotsylvania counties. Until 6:15 p.m., a severe thunderstorm warning remained for Culpeper, Fauquier, Spotsylvania, Orange and Stafford counties.
The National Weather Service said Wednesday afternoon that the D.C. region could see damaging winds and large hail this evening. And there's still another storm on tap for tomorrow morning.
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