Powerful storm kills 4 in Virginia, raising death toll to 7

WAVERLY, Va. - A powerful storm system swept across the East Coast on Wednesday, killing four people in Virginia and knocking out power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the region.

See Full Article

A day earlier, the system spawned about two dozen tornadoes along the Gulf Coast, damaging hundreds of homes in Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. Three people were killed and dozens were injured.

Forecasters had warned that more than 88 million people were at risk of seeing some sort of severe weather Wednesday. In the Midwest, heavy snow and biting winds led to mass flight cancellations at Chicago airports and school closings in several states.

In Virginia, Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency Wednesday evening. The tiny farming town of Waverly in the state's peanut-growing region took the brunt of the storm. The Virginia State Police said at least five structures were damaged in the town of approximately 2,000.

The names of the three people killed there were not released, but state police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a statement that they were a 2-year-old child and two men, ages 50 and 26. She said their bodies were found about 300 yards from their mobile home.

Roads leading into the town had to be closed because of downed trees and debris tossed by winds gusting to 60 mph, Geller said. A 7:30 p.m. curfew was imposed so search and rescue teams could go door to door checking on people.

Witnesses said the storm swept through Waverly with little warning.

Timothy Williams said a friend had just come by to take his new car for a drive when the storm hit.

"It picked the car right off the ground, and put it right back on the ground," said Williams, 44. He said they remained in the car until the storm passed.

The storm blew down electrical wires "in a big ball of fire, thrashing all about each other," Williams said. He said they both escaped shaken but uninjured.

"I'm just a little nervous and jittery, but overall I'm OK," Williams said.

In Appomattox County, a funnel cloud left a 12- to 16-kilometre path of destruction, injuring seven people and killing one man, state police said.

At least 15 structures were destroyed and 25 injuries were reported when the storm passed through Essex County and the town of Tappahannock, about 72 kilometres northeast of Richmond, state police said. The injuries ranged from minor to serious, but were no confirmed fatalities.

On Tuesday, one of the hardest-hit areas along the Gulf Coast was a recreational vehicle park in the town of Convent, in southern Louisiana. RVs were tossed about and lay on top of wrecked cars and pickup trucks.

Two people were killed there, and 31 injured people were taken to area hospitals, said St. James Parish Sheriff Willy Martin.

An all-night search of the RV park found no additional injuries or fatalities, the sheriff said. One person was still unaccounted for.

Briaxton Lott, 23, was in the trailer park when the tornado hit. The pad where his trailer once sat was empty and he pointed to the remnants of it about 30 metres away.

"The whole front end came up and slammed back down, and I grabbed up the baby and the next thing I know we just went rolling end over end," Lott said.

Bill Bunting with Storm Prediction Center estimated 20 to 24 tornados hit from Louisiana to Florida on Tuesday. Crews were still surveying so he couldn't be more specific.

The storms dumped several inches of rain in Alabama, Georgia and elsewhere, causing flash flood watches. Schools were closed in parts of Georgia, Florida and the Carolinas ahead of the storms.

In Mississippi, 73-year-old Dale Purvis died of blunt-force trauma in a mobile home west of Purvis, Lamar County Coroner Cody Creel said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said an apparent tornado in the Pensacola area significantly damaged more than 70 homes and 24 apartments, leaving three people with minor injuries.

He stopped at The Moorings apartment complex, where winds ripped the roof off of at least two buildings.

Residents in LaPlace, Louisiana, were cleaning up Wednesday after a tornado ripped up trees, tore roofs from houses and terrified local residents. Nearly 200 homes were damaged.

Rose Fuselier, 80, had a gaping hole where her home's front window once stood.

"The whole backyard is covered with trees, and then my shed is torn up, too. The roof is gone, and the siding is partially gone," she said. Still, she said others suffered damage even worse than hers: "I lucked out. I lucked out."

-----

Associated Press writers Rebecca Santana, in LaPlace, Louisiana; Melissa Nelson-Gabriel in Pensacola, Florida; Bill Fuller and Chevel Johnson in New Orleans; Freida Frisaro in Miami; Alanna Durkin Richer and Steve Szkotak in Richmond; Kasey Jones in Baltimore and Jeff Martin in Atlanta contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Gunman that targeted Washington pizza shop led turbulent life

    World News CTV News
    SALISBURY, N.C. - The man accused of firing an assault rifle inside a Washington restaurant appears to have lived an aimless life that became turbulent in the weeks before he was drawn to the nation's capital by a fake news story. Source
  • Pakistan opens probe into plane crash that killed 47

    World News CTV News
    GUG, Pakistan - Pakistani authorities have opened a probe into the deadly plane crash in the country's northwest the previous day that killed all 47 passengers and crew, a spokesman said Thursday. Pervez George of the Civil Aviation Authority told The Associated Press that experts are working in the hillside village of Gug in the district of Abbottabad, where the small twin-propeller aircraft crashed and burst into flames after developing a fault in one of its two engines. Source
  • Search for survivors continues in Indonesia as death toll climbs to 102

    World News CBC News
    Rescue workers, soldiers and police combed through the rubble of a devastated town in Indonesia's Aceh province Thursday, resuming a search for earthquake survivors that was halted at night by rain and blackouts. More than 100 people died in the shallow and powerful quake that struck northeast Sumatra before dawn on Wednesday. Source
  • Motion to impeach South Korea's president introduced

    World News CBC News
    South Korea's parliament introduced a bill on Thursday to impeach President Park Geun-hye, setting in motion a vote to oust the embattled leader engulfed in an influence-peddling scandal. Parliament is expected to vote on impeaching Park on Friday and opposition parties have said they believe they will get the two-thirds majority needed to pass the bill. Source
  • Trump takes to Twitter to criticize union leader critical of Indiana deal

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON - President-elect Donald Trump is slamming a union leader who criticized his deal to discourage air conditioner manufacturer Carrier Corp. from closing an Indiana factory and moving its jobs to Mexico. Trump tweeted Wednesday evening: "Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. Source
  • Rebel loss in Aleppo could have domino effect

    World News CTV News
    ALEPPO, Syria -- Aleppo shakes with explosions and gunfire day and night in both the government-- and rebel-held sides of the divided Syrian city. But for supporters of President Bashar Assad, there is a growing sense of imminent victory. Source
  • South Korean parliament sets up presidential impeachment vote

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of - South Korea's opposition-controlled parliament has formally introduced an impeachment motion on President Park Geun-hye. This sets the stage for a likely impeachment vote Friday. A parliamentary official reported the motion to a plenary session Thursday. Source
  • Campus cop shot teen holding knife at Nevada high school

    World News CTV News
    RENO, Nev. -- A campus police officer shot a knife-wielding student at a Nevada high school on Wednesday during a confrontation witnessed by dozens of other students, Reno police said. The 14-year-old boy was reported in critical condition Wednesday night at a Reno hospital, Police Chief Jason Soto said. Source
  • Italian PM Renzi quits as search begins for new leader

    World News CTV News
    ROME -- Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi resigned Wednesday evening, his self-inflicted penalty for staking his job on constitutional changes voters resoundingly rejected earlier in the week. He will stay in a caretaker's role at the request of Italy's president until a new government can be formed. Source
  • Winnipeg man pleads guilty to bigamy

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A former Winnipeg man married to two women for more than a year has learned what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas. The 43-year-old man pleaded guilty in Winnipeg court Wednesday to one count of bigamy. Source