Hurricane Florence Aftermath Sparks Deadly Tornado in Virginia, Exactly 14 Years After Ivan Caused 40 Tornadoes

The Richmond, Virginia, area was hit by a deadly tornado on Monday, sparked by conditions brought to the region following the arrival of Hurricane Florence on the coast of the Carolinas.

Around 3:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, the National Weather Service (NWS) in Wakefield, Virginia, confirmed on Twitter that a tornado touched down in Chesterfield County, located just south of Richmond. The NWS advised everyone to take shelter immediately and called it a "very dangerous situation."

The tornado caused significant damage to structures in the area, turning over cars, downing power lines and ripping the roofs off buildings. The storm also caused a commercial building that housed Old Dominion Flooring to collapse, resulting in one death.

Around 5:30 p.m. EDT, Chesterfield Fire/EMS spokesman Lieutenant Jason Elmore confirmed the fatality on Twitter and said that another person was transported to the hospital with a minor injury. Everyone else who was working inside the building at the time was accounted for and uninjured.

Fire crews waited until the storm passed and then completed recovery efforts to remove the deceased male, who was not immediately identified, from the building.

richmond tornado hurricane florence
A tornado sparked by Hurricane Florence killed one person on Monday. Chesterfield Fire/EMS spokesman Lieutenant Jason Elmore

Many students were in school at the time the tornado hit and Elmore expressed his gratitude for everyone who worked at the schools for keeping all the kids safe.

"As a first responder that has two daughters in county schools, I appreciate them sheltering the kids at school until the storms had passed!" he tweeted. "It was very dangerous out here today!"

Students, none of whom were injured, were sent home by bus or allowed to be picked up by their parents around 6:30 p.m. EDT.

The storm caused a massive power outage in the area and happened to occur 14 years to the day that Hurricane Ivan's remnants sparked a whopping 40 tornadoes in the state.

On September 17, 2004, Ivan produced 40 tornadoes, shattering records both for tornadoes in a single day and for tornadoes in a single year, according to the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).

Eleven of the 40 tornadoes Ivan brought to the state were classified as F2 tornadoes and one was an F3. Tornado wind speed is measured using the Fujita Tornado Damage Scale, and F2 includes tornadoes with wind speeds of 113 to 157 miles per hour. During an F2 tornado, an area will experience considerable damage, including roofs being torn off of houses, mobile homes being demolished and cars being lifted off the ground. Remarkably, no one was killed during the tornado outbreak.

During an F3 tornado, which is classified as a storm with wind speeds of 158 to 206 miles per hour, roofs and walls will be torn off homes, trains could be overturned and cars could be thrown.

While the effects of Hurricane Florence, now downgraded to a tropical depression, have largely been confined to North and South Carolina, the remnants of the storm are believed to have caused the tornado in Virginia. VDEM spokesman Jeff Caldwell told the Associated Press that the agency considers Monday's storms to be a catalyst of Florence.

Weather Channel meteorologist Brian Donegan agreed that Florence was at the helm of the tornadoes and explained that Florence's remains are interacting with a warm, humid air mass. The high wind shear across the region, the result of a change in the wind speed or direction, was what led to the development of the Richmond tornado.

The NWS will be on the ground in the area on Tuesday to survey the damage and confirm how many tornadoes touched down. A classification for Tuesday's tornado has not been released.