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Storms leave 200 injured in Virginia, officials say

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: Injuries in Suffolk, where a tornado destroyed homes and businesses
  • A second tornado struck Colonial Heights injuring at least 18, an official said
  • Video shows roofs torn off, cars flipped, trees snapped in half
  • A third twister damaged several homes near Lawrenceville
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(CNN) -- At least three tornadoes caused massive damage in Virginia and injured more than 200 people on Monday, officials said.


This Suffolk, Virginia, house was destroyed by an apparent tornado Monday.

At least 200 were injured in Suffolk where a twister destroyed several homes and businesses, said Bob Spieldenner of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

The storm hit the 138-bed Sentara Obici Hospital, though Spieldenner said the facility was still operational and accepting patients.

A second tornado struck Colonial Heights -- about 60 miles northwest, near Richmond -- injuring at least 18 people, he said.

A third twister damaged several homes near Lawrenceville, about 70 miles south of Richmond, said Bryan Jackson, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, which confirmed all three tornadoes.

Gov. Tim Kaine declared a Virginia-wide state of emergency as hazardous weather continued through the central part of the state.

The Suffolk twister touched down just before 4 p.m. ET and plowed its way east into Norfolk, damaging scores of homes, stores and cars and downing dozens of trees and power lines, Jackson said. Video Watch as a witness describes the tornado form »

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Video footage from the scene showed roofs torn off homes, cars flipped over, trees snapped in two and a caved-in section of a newly constructed shopping center.

Furniture, fences and mounds of other debris were tossed in streets, parking lots and lawns. Video Watch the storm's massive destruction from the air »

A tornado warning over the area remained in effect Monday evening.

Jeff Judkins, the city's emergency management coordinator, said there also were reports of people trapped inside cars. It's the worst damage he's seen in the area, he said.


An emergency shelter will be established by Monday night, Suffolk spokeswoman Dana Woodson said.

Officials initially reported a fatality, but later determined that it was unrelated to the storm, she said. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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