Update: NWS confirms King William tornado

jojacobs@tidewaterreview.com

Wednesday update: The National Weather Service has confirmed a EF-0 tornado touched down in King William overnight Monday. The funnel traveled half a mile before breaking up. It was among nine tornadoes created by a storm system that swept north and east through South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

The EF-0 rating means winds were 65-85 mph. The King William tornado was the northern-most funnel produced by the storm system.

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Lionel Robinson had just settled into bed when he heard something like the roar of a train in the night. That sound was an apparent tornado that damaged his and several other homes early Tuesday in King William.

County emergency services received a report of a tornado around 3 a.m. in the 1500 block of West Rose Garden Road. No one was injured and damage to homes in the area was minimal. Several sheds and garages sustained greater damage, and trees were felled by winds between 80 and 85 miles per hour, King William Fire Chief Andy Aigner said.

Robinson’s property seemed to bear the brunt of the damage. The winds shook his two-story garage, breaking windows and ripping up walls. Inside, the musician found some of his guitars strewn amid torn-out insulation and overturned furniture. His yard didn’t fare much better, where several large trees were broken.

“God is powerful. People don’t know how powerful God really is,” Robinson said.

Robinson had been playing guitar upstairs in his garage just prior to when the storm hit. He had just walked from his garage to his house and climbed into bed when the wind picked up. Robinson’s wife took cover on the floor while he hunkered down on the bed: It happened too fast to do much else, he said.

“It couldn’t have been a minute it was so fast,” Robinson said.

Neither he nor his wife or son were hurt, but he found it difficult to get back to bed.

“I didn’t get no sleep after that,” Robinson said.

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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