WASHINGTON — Virginia State Police say two were killed and at least 30 injured when a fierce storm slammed a campground on the state’s Eastern Shore.
Spokeswoman Corinne Geller confirmed the deaths and injuries early Thursday.
The storm slammed into the Cherrystone Family Camping & RV Resort, which sits on 300 acres on the Chesapeake Bay in rural Northampton County.
According to National Weather Service storm reports, the storm also overturned RV campers at the campground. One-inch hail was also reported.
A couple from New Jersey was killed when a tree fell on their tent. Their 13-year- old son, in a tent next to them, had life-threatening injuries. He was among three dozen people hurt.
The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning for the area that expired at 9 a.m. Thursday.
“It came in real quick,” Eastville volunteer firefighter Brittney Eder told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. “The sky turned jet black.”
Eder said she left the campground before the full force of the storm hit.
Eder’s father, Fire Chief David Eder, told her from the scene that the storm felled trees and flipped at least two campers.
WTKR-TV Reporter Mike Mather spoke with a camper who described how his camper was shaking when the storm went through the area. When he opened his door to how much damage was done, he saw numerous trees down.
Geller said people at the campground were being taken by bus to a nearby school for shelter.
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Brian Coy, a spokesman for Gov. Terry McAuliffe, said the administration was closely monitoring the situation and had received reports of severe damage at the campground with trees on top of campers.
Virginia is moving quickly to help to an Eastern Shore town recover.
Governor Terry McAuliffe released the following statement:
“My public safety team and I are continuing to monitor and respond to the situation on the Eastern Shore following today’s severe weather event. Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, Virginia Department of Emergency Management Coordinator Jeff Stern and regional state emergency management officials are en route to help coordinate the initial response to this tragic event. I have directed them and their teams to remain in constant contact with responders on the ground and make whatever resources are necessary available to those who are responding to this tragic event.
“We are all saddened by the reports of injuries and lives lost in this storm and will continue to offer our thoughts and prayers to the Virginia families who were affected, along with whatever support is necessary to help these communities move forward.”
Coast Guard spokesman Petty Officer 3rd Class David Weydert said crews also were responding to reports of boats overturned in the water in the area. Good Samaritans pulled at least three people from the water, he said, though their conditions were unknown.