Virginia’s governor declares state of emergency after storms

Debris surrounds storm-damaged homes Monday, April 16, 2018, in Elon, Va. (Jay Westcott/The News & Advance via AP)

DANVILLE, Va. (AP) — Virginia’s governor has declared a state of emergency after storms ripped through parts of western Virginia.

Gov. Ralph Northam tweeted Monday that he made the declaration “to help local and state agencies respond to damage” from Sunday night’s storms.

Damage was particularly heavy in areas near Lynchburg and Danville. Peter Corrigan, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said by phone that an investigation is underway to determine if tornadoes touched down.

In Amherst County, near Lynchburg, county administrator Dean Rodgers said about 20 homes were destroyed and multiple people were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

The Danville Register & Bee reported that two homes were heavily damaged by fallen trees.

Police said a Lynchburg police officer was struck by a motorist while directing traffic. He suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

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