IOW tornado took 20-mile path

Published 9:39 am Tuesday, April 19, 2011

WINDSOR—A meteorologist with the National Weather Service said Tuesday the tornado that hit Isle of Wight County on Saturday evening took 30 minutes to travel 20 miles.

The tornado began east of Walters and remained on the ground continuously while traveling north, northeastward almost to Route 10 west of Route 258, about a half mile from Smithfield, meteorologist Bill Sammler said.

Sammler believes the EF-2 tornado traveled at 50 to 60 miles per hour with wind gusts of up to 111 to 135 mph.

“Most of the damage we found (Monday) was in pockets,” he said. “There was quite a bit of damage to some farms between Walters and Carrsville and up further north close to Route 460 and in the Central Hill Road area.”

The tornado traveled through some very rural and wooded areas.

“Those areas tend not to have damage that everyone focuses on,” Sammler said.

Isle of Wight County officials reported that 25 homes were damaged and four were destroyed. Damage estimates as of Tuesday remained at $2 million, said Don Robertson, public information officer for the county.