Friday, August 13, 2010
Flat Rock Damage: Not a Tornado
Wind damage in Flat Rock late yesterday afternoon (approximately 5 p.m.) was not as a result of a tornado, but caused by severe straight-line winds. The National Weather Service survey team was in Flat Rock in Powhatan County early this Friday morning investigating the damage caused there. Surveyors knew this damage was from strong, straight-line winds instead of a tornado because of the way the trees were blown over. They were all lying down pointing in the same direction, which is consistent with strong straight-line winds as opposed to rotating winds from a tornado. The wind damage path along Route 60 near the intersections of Dorsett Road and Shroeder Road is a half mile wide and two miles long. Although we don't know the exact wind gust speed, we know it was severe enough to blow over large trees, knock over a stack of steel bush hogs and 15 to 18 foot box trailers, peel off part of a barn roof and the roof at the Flat Rock Tire Store, and collapse a communications tower. The storm approached from the north, producing the roof damage on the north side of the building.