Christmas Tornado in Virginia Leaves Thousands Without Power, Flood Warning Issued

A tornado struck near Suffolk, Virginia last night, leaving thousands of people without power on Christmas Day.

The National Weather Service (NWS) confirmed that a tornado had hit near Holland Road in Suffolk.

The NWS has issued tornado warnings for parts of Virginia—including Suffolk, Chesapeake and Portsmouth—throughout Christmas Day. Numerous tornado warnings were also issued for areas of North and South Carolina.

The Courtland Volunteer Fire Department said it sent units to a home outside Suffolk that had possibly been hit by a tornado late on Christmas Eve.

In a post on Facebook, the department said crews were dispatched at around 11.15 p.m. and found damage to the property as well as multiple downed trees and power lines in the area of 23300 Southampton Pkwy near Drewryville.

The department said no injuries were reported, or no other significant damage was found.

**Possible Tornado** 12/24/20UPDATE: All CVFD units are safely back in quarters. We also have confirmation that Santa made it safely thru the storm and is continuing on his merry way 🎅🏼...

"Units are now standing by with Community Electric as power lines are across all lanes of 58 in front of the High School," the posts added.

"Please remain safe traveling the roadways - many roadways in the area have standing water on them as well as debris."

Early Christmas morning, Community Electric reported around 2,600 customers were without power. According to the company's outage map, almost 2,000 customers were without power in Suffolk County.

Forecasters also warned that heavy rainfall from a winter storm that hit Thursday could lead to flooding across the East Coast throughout Christmas Day.

The storm brought heavy rains that forecasters said would melt massive amounts of snow that had been dumped in another major storm last week.

The anticipated rainfall would be heavy enough to trigger flooding in urban and poor drainage areas, AccuWeather's forecast said.

"The rapidly melting snow, which contains approximately 1-3 inches of water will combine with an anticipated 1-3 inches of rain and locally higher amounts from the storm from Christmas Eve to early Christmas Day," Brett Anderson, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather, said.

Forecasters also warned the combination of snow and rain could lead to roof collapses, especially in parts of northern Pennsylvania and New York state that saw massive amounts of snow in last week's storm.

The storm will also bring high winds, adding to the risk of power outages.

More than 300,000 customers were without power in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Tennessee early Christmas morning, according to PowerOutage.us.

Tornado
Stock photo shows a supercell thunderstorm developing on, May 10, 2017 in Olustee, Oklahoma. Drew Angerer/Getty Images